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ASL Managing Director's Speech

African Sun Limited Managing Director's Speech - Holiday Inn Mutare Rebranding

ASL Managing Director's Speech

1 July 2017 | by Staff Author


Ladies and Gentlemen, today marks an important milestone in the history of the hospitality industry as we witness the re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand in Mutare. Most of you still had fond memories of the Holiday Inn brand even 5 years after the hotel was rebranded to a homegrown brand, Amber. Let me be quick to say that during the period we have operated the hotel as an Amber brand, there has been overwhelming calls from our well-traveled and discerning customers to have the Holiday Inn brand back in Mutare. As a customer-centric organization, we have listened to our customers and this brand re-launch event is to unveil and deliver back to our customers, a brand they love.

Market Developments

Ladies and Gentlemen, the launch of this global brand today comes on the back of numerous efforts by Government to increase the country’s accessibility and capacity to trade within the SADC region. As we all know, accessibility and trade are catalysts of travel. Some of the remarkable efforts with a direct impact on tourism are as follows:

  • The upgrading of the Harare International Airport set to start soon.
  • The commencement of the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway and work on the Harare-Chirundu road also expected to start soon.
  • The upgrading of the Forbes Boarder Post to increase the border post’s capacity to facilitate more traffic in and out of Mutare.
  • The consolidation of the Marange project into ZCDC and the intimated coal deposits to be officially announced are positive factors that could turn Mutare into a mining and trade city in the foreseeable future.
  • The streamlining of police roadblocks to allow the smooth movement of tourists by road.

These developments, among many other efforts to boost the economy, will undoubtedly induce a lot of regional and international travel. With this at the back of our minds, this global brand re-launch in Mutare is also our way of preparing ourselves to host regional and international guests as we anticipate increased traffic into the city. 

Attributes of the Holiday Inn Brand

Ladies and Gentlemen, for you to fully appreciate why this brand has made a mark on the minds of our customers let me highlight some of the most important facts and hallmarks of the Holiday Inn brand.

Important Facts

  1. IHG is a truly global brand - globally, there are nearly 1,200 Holiday Inn mid-scale core branded hotels, with 9 located across Africa.
  2. It is a brand that has stood the test of time having been launched over 60 years ago.
  3. It is a brand that has been ranked the highest in guest satisfaction for four consecutive years; according to the J.D. Power and Associates North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

Hallmarks of the Holiday Inn brand

  • A Great Sleep – A Holiday Inn sleep experience ranges from the unique pillow menu, to the comfort of beds and linen, blackout curtains, controlled room noise levels.
  • A Great Breakfast - Holiday Inn breakfasts are famous for their quality.
  • A Rewarding Stay - Holiday Inn has enhanced benefits for members of its loyalty programme, Priority Club with extensive links with leading travel, entertainment and leisure companies to give regular Holiday Inn guests the chance to enjoy a wide range of rewards.
  • A Can-do Approach - Holiday Inn staff are famous for their friendly and efficient manner, because they are well-trained to anticipate guest needs and requirements.
  • In short, these are some of the reasons why a Holiday Inn brand is “The Place to Stay.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, the attributes of the Holiday Inn brand I have highlighted above are anchored on the IHG ethos of creating “Great Hotels, that Guests Love”. Today’s re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand is a testimony that it is a brand that our very own Guests Love. To put it in our everyday language, it is a brand that is “back by public demand”.

What the brand re-launch means

As a company, we are witnessing one of the key milestones as enunciated on our strategic intents, which is;

“To ensure that our association/relationships with regional and
international brands have sustainable long-term returns”.

As you may be aware, African Sun Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, a subsidiary of African Sun Limited, owns eleven (11) hotels in Zimbabwe of which one is jointly owned on a 50/50 partnership basis with Meikles Hospitality (Private) Limited. Let me highlight that, the Holiday Inn is the only international brand not only under the African Sun portfolio but the only international hotel brand in Zimbabwe. This re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand in Mutare therefore increases the number of Holiday Inns managed by African Sun to three (3) hotels - Holiday Inn Bulawayo, Holiday Inn Harare and Holiday Inn Mutare, with a total of 454 rooms. I’m also proud to say that, out of the 9 Holiday Inns located in Africa, 3 are located in Zimbabwe and proudly managed by African Sun.

Please join me in giving a round of applause to the Head of the Holiday Inn Division, Mr Tich Hwingwiri, the Holiday Inn Mutare General Manager, Mr Clive Chinwada, the Country Sales Manager, Mr Maxwell Moyo and their entire team for delivering on one of the strategic intents of the company.

A Message to the Holiday Inn Mutare Staff
Ladies and Gentlemen, it will not be appropriate if I don’t share a few words with the Holiday Inn Mutare staff. What we are witnessing today is the fact that in the hospitality industry, there are hotels and then there are Great Hotels. As such, to the Holiday Inn Mutare team, this brand re-launch therefore is synonymous with a football team being promoted from Division One to the Premier League. Such a promotion comes with ground rules of the Premier League, which are:

  1. Change your Features, Advantages, Benefits; hence today we are witnessing the new brand standards and signature features of the Holiday Inn brand.
  2. There is now the “Goal line technology” to support accurate refereeing. Similarly, the re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand comes with the need to comply with global brand standards, customer satisfaction benchmarks and compliance issues to enhance our efficiencies on the global market.
  3. As with Premier League teams, there are high expectations and immense pressure to stay on top of the league. For the new Holiday Inn Mutare brand – the customer expectations will be high. As a team, you must be geared for this challenge and remain committed to stay at the top of our competition.

To our customers and stakeholders, the re-launch of the Holiday Inn brand is a promise:

  • That we are bringing global standards and unique service excellence to the Zimbabwe market.
  • That we have raised our stakes and our teams will be equal to the task.
  • That Holiday Inn Mutare will be a Great Hotel that our Guests will Love.


In conclusion, as African Sun, we are happy to be partnering with IHG once again. We have successfully launched two Holiday Inn hotels together, and have seen great success across both properties. Now that the hotel has opened its doors, it will benefit equally from IHG’s global distribution systems, strong brand portfolio and loyalty programmes.

Finally, allow me to thank the major shareholder, Brainworks Capital, the Board and special mention of the Divisional Head of Holiday Inn and his team who have spent sleepless nights working behind the scenes to make this brand re-launch a reality. I say to you all Makorokoto, Amhlope, Congratulations! I thank you!

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