Saturday, September 24 2022

The Chronicle

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Journalist

FAST restaurant chain, Chicken Hut, which recently opened in Bulawayo, has added a tourist attraction cafe facility to the branch in the city to promote the growth of the tourism sector.

The outlet, which is called ‘Coffee Republik’, is the third in the country so far after setting up the first outlet in Harare in 2019 before subsequently opening the second in Kwekwe.

Coffee Republik is a brand that aims to promote and attract tourists to the country as some tourists, mainly from mainland Europe, are used to drinking coffee rather than tea.

The latest Coffee Republik outlet was officially launched in Bulawayo last Friday.

Chicken Hut spokesman Mr Thandolwenkosi Dube said: “To date, Coffee Republik has three stores, the latest being Bulawayo, which opened today.

“Plans are underway to roll out other outlets in Victoria Falls and Gweru soon and Coffee Republik is using coffee as a driver of local tourism.

“Zimbabwe is among the top 10 travel destinations in Africa, but many Zimbabweans have not explored and experienced what the country offers.”

Mr Dube said that until now coffee was the most traded commodity after oil, with more than two billion cups of coffee consumed worldwide every day.

“Like other major coffee brands around the world, coffee is used to make a difference, some brands use a percentage of coffee sales to support charities or humanitarian work,” Mr Dube said.

In a separate interview, the Acting Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Mr. Givemore Chidzidzi, said his organization welcomed Coffee Republik’s latest development, which adds diversity to the culinary, food and drinks.

“As the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, we welcome such a development which adds diversity to the culinary, food and beverage experience.

“In Zimbabwe coffee consumption is low because people drink tea so much that people call it tea.

“So I think using coffee outlets like Coffee Republik, it actually shows that we’re ready for a diversity of markets because if you look at visitors from mainland Europe, there’s actually more coffee than tea,” he said.

“So coffee drinking is quite synonymous with travel and tourism. These are the things that make people spend in the economy.

“As ZTA, we are happy to have operators who develop in line with our desire to develop the tourism industry and increase their revenue from tourism products. It even increases the attractiveness of Zimbabwe as a destination,” Mr. Chidzidzi said.

He said the establishment of such operations was in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), a five-year macro-economic policy that the government has set out to promote the growth and development of the economy through the creation of jobs and wealth, and boosting productivity across all sectors as the country moves towards an upper-middle-income economy by 2030. The economic plan anchoring the economy between 2021 and 2025.

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