Bulawayo — Leading South African-based recreational service provider, Decor8, is to set up base in Zimbabwe buoyed by increased corporate expenditure on leisure activities in the country.
The company, which has been in existence for close to a decade, is famed for co-organising the annual Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in 2006 while also hosting leading American hip-hop artist 50 Cent show in South Africa.
Decor8 managing director, Africa Muneti, said in an interview last week that the move comes after realising the local recreational industry has since 2009 experienced a steady recovery stemming from dollarisation which has resulted more companies restoring recreational budgets.
"The country is in stable an environment presently and although leisure comes at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs for corporate and individuals, the local leisure market has been experiencing a steady five percent growth since dollarisation," he said.
Muneti said despite the South African market being 10-fold bigger, the attraction of the US dollar could not be ignored, adding the surge in the number of international artistes coming into the country had not gone unnoticed by many international leisure service providers.
He said presently the sector is valued at around US$100 million, and anticipated the sector to continue growing at an average of five to seven percent in 2012.
He, however, said low capacity utilisation in many companies locally had resulted in many international players of the sector taking a "wait and look" stance before venturing into setting up base in the country.
"The dull economy experienced in the last decade had a domino effect on the luxury industry.
"Hence companies that do not have serious financial backing are reluctant to enter the market, as we have noted many local entertainment providers demise," he said.
In the interim he said luxury services providers are now venturing into brand marketing big performing institutions as their corporate budgets had less limitations.
"There are very few blue chip companies locally with the capacity to set aside US$300 000 to US$500 000 budgets twice a year for branding and corporate events, but the prospects appear bright ," said Muneti.
According to Muneti, there are over 80 companies in Zimbabwe involved in organising corporate leisure events as well market branding.
Nevertheless, Muneti said there was no governing body to regularise and bring sanity in their activities, adding that government was losing out taxes as many players were not registered.