With the privatisation of the copper mining industry in the Northern Copperbelt Mining area of Zambia, Protea Hotels are predicting a dramatic increase in business, especially in Chingola. These forecasts have lead to Protea Hotels joining forces with a Zambian company, Union Hotels Ltd, in the launch of a new hotel called Protea Hotel Chingola.
The president of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC, said during the official opening that, “The hotel provides a focal point for regional tourism because of its proximity to the DRC and also as it is the only hotel of its standing within each side of the border radius”. He went on to say, “I am confident that the Protea Hotels Group, through their training programmes, global marketing and reservations network, coupled with their standards of excellence, will add value to the business environment on the Copperbelt and Chingola in
At the opening of the hotel, Managing Director of Union Hotels Ltd., Mark O’Donnell, addressed the Zambian President, explaining that the project had come about purely as a result of the privatisation of the copper mines and not through any government incentives. However, he did express his faith in government policy and his expectation of economic growth in both Chingola and other towns on the Copperbelt. “This is the second Zambian hotel to be built by our group in the last five years, the other being Protea Hotel Lusaka Safari Lodge in Chisamba near Lusaka,” said O’Donnell.
The hotel, which took nine months to build, is situated on the outskirts of Chingola, the most picturesque of the Copperbelt towns. It will cater predominantly to the business market, which is primarily linked to the mining industry. Chingola is serviced by Ndola International airport (130 km’s from Chingola), a domestic airport, Kitwe Southdown Airport (65 km’s from Chingola) and the local Kasompe Airport only 20 km’s from Chingola.
Protea Hotels, together Union Hotels are in the process of adding a third property to their portfolio in Zambia. Presently under development, a hotel is being built as part of the Arcades Shopping Centre in Lusaka. This centrally located hotel will have between 60 and 80 fully furnished apartments and is set to open in June 2003. “Another area of development, which will cater for the leisure market, is in Livingstone on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. We
are still however in the process of investigating land, so it is still a long way off, “said Aart van der Heijden, Protea Hotels` Regional Director for KwaZulu-Natal.