Top hotelier wins lifetime award

Trythings Mutyandasvika, who has since moved to Sterling Group of Hotels as general manager (GM), was honoured last Friday by Zimbabwe CEO Network.

Tourism executive, who led a multi-million-dollar facelift of Harare’s five-star Rainbow Towers about two years ago, last week scooped the Lifetime Achievement Award for his 40 year contribution to Zimbabwe’s leisure sector.

Trythings Mutyandasvika, who has since moved to Sterling Group of Hotels as general manager (GM), was honoured last Friday by Zimbabwe CEO Network.

This week, he opened up on his four decade career, telling the Zimbabwe Independent it was important for the sector to ensure high standards of service were maintained.

Mutyandasvika has been in the industry during boom times in the 1990s, and during the most terrifying phase, which saw many operators collapse between 2000 and 2008.

“I have been in the industry for 40 years,” Mutyandasvika said this week.

“I started off my career way back in the 1980s as a front office manager at Hwange Safari Lodge. I then moved to manage Great Zimbabwe Hotel. In the late 1990s, I became deputy GM at Crown Plaza Hotel in charge of food and beverages.

“I was also GM at Holiday Inn in Mutare and Bulawayo before becoming group general manager of Oasis Hotels in South Africa. I was called back to be deputy GM at The Grace in Rosebank, South Africa, in 2007.

“I later moved to Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls as general manager, I then joined Rainbow Hotel as GM from 2015 until 2021 when I joined the Sterling Group of Hotels as GM,” Mutyandasvika said.

But he said service levels had deteriorated. He noted that part of the decline stemmed from the factor that passion to serve has been compromised.

It is a view shared by many of the country’s top hoteliers.

But Mutyandasvika said it was not too late.

The problem can be addressed.

“The industry is different now,” he said.

“When you look at service level, the industry is struggling. The root problem starts with recruitment. Our colleges need to produce for the industry not to just mass produce with people who do not have love for the industry - those who are just looking for money.

“The service industry does not require people who are looking for money only, but those who have the love and passion to work with people.

“Zimbabwe is now well linked by air because we now have quite a number of flights that are coming in. But it can do more in terms of making the world know who we are as Zimbabwe.

“We have everything that we need in terms of tourist attractions. But out there, people don’t have the understanding of who we are. Some people think we are part of South Africa, our marketing can be better,” Mutyandasvika added.

He said the award meant a lot to him because it was for hard work and service.

“This award means a whole world to me because I have given so much, you know. When you are doing some of these things you never realise that people are actually watching you while you perform and when someone realises what someone has done and they deserve this recognition it is really gratifying,” Mutyandasvika said

“I will do everything I can to make sure I transfer my knowledge to the youngsters to carry on my legacy.”

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