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Construction of Cresta Maun Hotel commences

BONIFACE KEAKABETSE
MAUN: Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, recently launched the construction of the new Cresta Maun Hotel.

The river-front located hotel, will have a capacity of 83 rooms consisting of a single presidential suite, to be named Tshekedi Khama, as well as five junior suites, 77 standard rooms, two conference facilities with a capacity of 230 people and a restaurant that can accommodate 196 people.

The project is expected to be completed in November 2016. Cresta has announced that the new hotel will be leased to Reinet Safaris. The listed hospitality group, Cresta already operates Rileys Hotel in Maun.

Officiating at the groundbreaking ceremony at the hotel construction site along the banks of the Thamalakane River in Matlapana, Khama said the addition of Cresta Maun Hotel would help diversify Maun tourism products. He noted that Cresta’ growth strategy had taken into consideration the transformation of Maun from just a village to a booming economic hub in Ngamiland. Khama said his ministry is worried that currently tourists do not spend longer time in Maun as they fly directly to The Okavango Delta from the airport.

Khama also said it has been realised that this is partly due to lack of activities in Maun to attract tourists.

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The minister added that for a long time,  events that could have been held in Maun had to be taken to other areas such as Gaborone due to limited number of rooms in Maun.

He said the development would attract activities such as large conferences into Maun. He further noted that government continues to encourage the development of capacities in the villages in order to accelerate, deepen and expand the economic growth development in Botswana. He said these efforts will help eradicate poverty through employment creation.

Cresta Marakanelo Managing Director, Tawanda Makaya said the Maun Hotel would create a minimum of 100 jobs out of which at list 90% of employees would be from Maun and surrounding areas. He revealed that the Cresta brand was the fastest growing in Botswana, adding that the growth was attributable to a strategy they had assumed seven years ago.

Makaya said the strategy entails implementation of a resuscitated Cresta brand, revamping projects of existing properties, expansion into the regional markets through the takeover of Golf View Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia and the acquisition of Cresta Mahalapye and Jwaneng  hotels.



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