Malawi hotel group, Sunbird Hotels and Resorts, has sent 15 managerial staff members to Zimbabwe for training sessions aimed at improving that country’s hospitality service.

The group, which owns seven hotels in Malawi including a catering solutions facility, has entered into a partnership with the Bulawayo Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism where the training will be conducted.

Sunbird team leader Yason Pondamali told the media during a recent familiarisation tour at Matopos National Park that they chose Zimbabwe after noting the country’s tourism skills and professionalism.

“Sunbird has over the years been taking trainees to Kenya but this year we chose to work with Zimbabwe. We believe Zimbabwe has got substance that we can take back to Malawi,” he said.

“After the one-year training programme, we’ll go back to operations at our various hotels around the country.”
Pondamali said his company supported the country’s stance on value addition in the hotel business which required a holistic approach.
“When we look at the hotel business, we look at it globally. This will help us serve guests at every other hotel as well as add value to Sunbird Hotels and Resorts. This is just the beginning of greater things to come,” he said adding his team was looking forward to learning a lot from Zimbabwe.

Welcoming the team, Bulawayo School of Hospitality and Tourism director Innocent Nezungai said the initiative was a special programme between Zimbabwe and Malawi with significance to the whole Sadc community.

“Through this programme, managerial skills in the hotel industry can gradually be improved within Sadc. We’ve also capacitated a number of training programmes for Namibians, which is impacting heavily on tourism there.

“It’s also an opportunity for cultural exchange and not just food exchange. We look forward to sending a team to Malawi to understand the training needs there.”

Sunbird Hotels and Resorts is the only hotel chain operator in Malawi under whose belt are Sunbird Capital, Sunbird Mount Soche, Sunbird Mzuzu, Sunbird Lilongwe, Sunbird Ku Chawe, Sunbird Livingstonia Beach, Sunbird Nkopola Lodge and the Lakeshore International Conference Centre.

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