Africa -  Victoria Falls

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HVS In-Depth Africa Hotel Valuation Index:   2021 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Victoria Falls is a bubble in troubled Zimbabwe. It is considered as a destination in itself by most international tourists that almost forget that it is part of Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls has a buoyant economy that relies primarily on tourism and benefits from a steady inflow of foreign currency.

The Zimbabwe government has actively been promoting the Victoria Falls as a destination and secured key partnerships with airlines and major tourism players. Passenger movements at the Victoria Falls International Airport grew at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1% over the past 10 years.

The upgrade and expansion of the Victoria Falls International Airport that was completed in 2017 helped boost passenger movements. Indeed, the airport capacity was increased by 500,000 passengers to a total of 1.5 million passengers a year. 2017 showed an increase in passenger movements of 27% compared with 2016 and this trend continued in 2018. Tourism visitation grew by more than 20% in 2018 when compared to 2017. This trend is reflected in the overall occupancy of the hotels which has reached a peak in 2018. Tourism in Victoria Falls is expected to grow significantly in the next few years as accessibility, connectivity and reputation grow and give the destination a strong tourism appeal.

The efforts of the government to promote the destination to foreign travelers combined with the expansion of the airport have encouraged international and African airlines to open new air routes and to increase flight capacities to Victoria Falls: British Airways, Ethiopian Airline, Kenyan Airways, Air Namibia and South African Airways Airlink all opened new routes or increased their capacity to both Victoria Falls and Livingstone.

Most of the supply in Victoria Falls is luxury lodges targeting niche markets from Europe and South Africa. Branded hotels are rare and located in Zambia. Hotels’ performance is in line with the luxury markets of developing markets in Africa and growing exponentially owing to a great promotion of the destination by the government, the growing reputation of the falls and the easiness to obtain visas. REVPAR grew by 24.2% in 2018 and is expected to grow by a further 10% in 2019. Hotel values are surprisingly high owing to the reputation of the place and the atypical profile of hotels that are small luxury lodges showing high net profit

The widespread impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an unprecedented impact on hotels and hotel values worldwide. Consequently, the latest HVI analysis may no longer reflect the most current measure of lodging industry strength or the hospitality investment market.

In each of our offices across the globe, we are working tirelessly to analyze the impact of recent events and provide timely insights to help you navigate these uncharted waters. Because it is unclear how long the pandemic will last or how long related restrictions will be in place, we are updating our analyses on a weekly basis using the most current data.

Additionally, examination of value trends in prior cycles can provide useful information. Historical patterns, together with an understanding of the market’s current expectations for the eventual recovery of the industry and its performance, can provide insights on the likely trajectory of decline and recovery for hotel values.

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