By Wahard Betha
Hotel group Sunbird Tourism Plc has unveiled its plans to construct 15 room eco lodge at Majete Wildlife Reserve in Chikwawa.
The group says in its interim financial statement for the half year period ended June 30, 2021 that the project which is now at design stage, is scheduled to be completed next year.
In the statement co-signed by Chairman George Patridge and Director Vilipo Munthali, Sunbird explains that the project will help the Company revive its hospitality business which has greatly been affected by coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Say Petridge and Munthali: “Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the Covid-19 pandemic is still a major risk in the industry and continues to adversely affect the performance of hospitality business.”
“However, the board’s focus remains to continue building a resilient brand by improving service delivery and guest experience.”
“This is being achieved through product and infrastructure improvements and intensifying sales and marketing activities to ensure that the company maintains its market leadership in the hospitality industry.”
The Group expresses optimism that hospitality business will improve following Covid-19 vaccination campaign underway which is expected to bring desired confidence in resuming normal business and leisure travel as some countries are beginning to open up.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Government has relaxed some of the Covid-19 restrictions, which the Group says will bring positive impact on the economy of the country specifically the tourism industry.
Apart from the construction of eco lodge at Majete, Sunbird is implementing a number of key products improvements across the country.
These include construction of a new iconic 42-bedroom Sunbird Water Front Beach Resort adjacent to Sunbird Livingstonia Beach which was fully completed and; Vincent’s platinum a fine dining restaurant at Sunbird Mount Soche, both scheduled to open in October, 2021.
With all these initiatives, complemented by an improvement in business environment, Sunbird Board forecasts returning of the company to profitability in the second half of the year.
Sunbird’s loss after tax was at MK475.8-million which compares favorably to the loss of MK1.3-billion realized in the same period last year, signaling a process of the business environment returning slowly to normality as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry is better than the first wave in the previous year.
Sunbird’s nine properties include Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe, Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, Sunbird Lilongwe, Sunbird Mzuzu, Sunbird Mkopola in Mangochi, Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima, Sunbird Chintheche in Nkhatabay, and Sunbird Ku Chawe in Zomba.