Hospitality group, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) is upbeat its Gateway Streams will continue to drive revenue for growth at a time the sector is anticipating recovery as Covid 19 restrictions continue to be relaxed.
The sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic world over as countries closed borders to limit the spread and severity of the virus.
But, the gradual easing of lockdowns world over brings a ray of hope for the tourism and hospitality industry with Zimbabwe seeing international airlines such as the British Airways resuming flights into Victoria Falls while Qatar Airways is now coming to Zimbabwe for the first time.
In a trading update for the quarter to September 30, 2021, company secretary Mr Tapiwa Mari said the stability in the operating environment is a positive development that should see increased activity within the sector.
As such, the relaxation of the lockdown measures has positioned the group onto a recovery trajectory and the Gateway Stream is expected to play a critical role in this recovery.
“The group expects to see full activation of all the twelve gateway stream revenue channels,” said Mr Mari.
The Gateway Stream web and mobile application is a global diversified and unified online business ecosystem that delivers perpetual, passive and active income through the ownership of markets where it connects with the highest quality of products and service.
It has been positioned as a driver of revenue and continues to capitalize on opportunities presented by e-commerce.
According to figures from the half year to June 30, 2021 earnings update, the platform has grown its rooms stock to over 50,000 rooms listed across 29 African countries and has grown from the 4 sub-applications when it was launched in 2018 to the current 9 sub-applications, offering a diverse range of products and services such as hospitality and leisure, food and drink, groceries, insurance, online shopping, book-a-ride, online auction, pharmacy as well as music.
During the third quarter to September 30, 2021, the Gateway Stream division continued to act as a critical anchor to the business as various channels experienced increased volumes compared to other quarters during with its business 55 percent above the comparative quarter.
“Notable performance was recorded under Gateway Stream rooms (hotel rooms not owned by RTG) which sold rooms equivalent of 30 percent of the total RTG hotel rooms sold during the third quarter of 2021.
“Other channels such as groceries, music and hardware have continued to record significantly increased volumes,” said Mari.
During the quarter under review, hotel occupancies improved marginally to 24 percent from 23 percent as the tightened level four lockdown in July and August affected the business due to restrictions on intercity travel and gatherings, especially conferencing. This was in contrast to the second quarter which experienced better business volumes due to the near to normal trading conditions under level two lockdowns.
Overall performance for the quarter was better than the same period in 2020 despite the business interruptions due to the Covid 19 induced restrictions. Management is however upbeat the impact of the pandemic during the remaining part of the year will not have a material negative impact on the group’s full year financial performance.