A NEW 30-room hotel will open its doors in Bulawayo soon and is set to create 40 direct jobs.

Players in the tourism sector and city business persons on Saturday conducted a pre-opening tour of Derby Hotel, which is situated along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road, just after Bellevue shopping centre.

Major construction works for the double story facility have been completed including a perimeter wall, signage, conference centre, restaurant, parking and garden facilities.

The facility has already been licensed by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).

Water, sewer and electricity infrastructure has also been installed while some rooms have been fitted with new furniture.

Derby Hotel finance director, Mr Obert Masara, said the new facility opened up some of its finished rooms to business while construction works are being finalised on remaining portions. He said the hotel will be a game changer in the tourism sector as it will create employment for locals.

“We are looking to employ about 40 people directly and even more downstream. We are focusing on buying local in terms of our requirements and hope we can be able to grow other businesses besides ourselves,” said Mr Masara.

He could not immediately disclose how much was invested into the project, which started in 2015. The opening of the new hotel comes a few weeks before the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) next month.

“The hotel is already open for business as all licensing has been completed. Right now we are doing finishing touches.

“More than 50 percent of the rooms are in operation so we are working on finishing up what’s left. In a week’s time we will be done, we are left with painting and furnishing,” he said. Mr Masara would not disclose the ownership of the new facility.

The hotel offers outdoor and double conference facilities with capacity to hold over 500 people, bar and restaurant.

The country’s hospitality is poised for growth with higher expectations of increased tourist arrivals. Zimbabwe has set a target of at least 2.8 million foreign tourist arrivals by December compared to about 2.4 million in 2017.

The ZTA is on record as saying the new political dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has brought renewed vigour through enhanced ease of doing business, which will benefit the tourism sector especially.