Mutare — Chinese owned hotel, Golden Peacock Villa has dismissed fears that it could be a source of the novel corona virus as mere slanderous claims fabricated by its competitors intimidated by the hotel expansion.
Hotel management yesterday dismissed social media claims that the hotel serves Chinese cuisine which is a source of the deadly virus that has claimed hundreds of lives worldwide.
The hotel, which recently expanded to accommodate 1200 conference delegates and 237 double bookings, has also put in place control measures to ensure that any potential client who visited China in the recent pas will be turned away for proper screening by health officials.
General manager Celia Woo said their response was meant to assure customers that there was no linkage of the virus as only two Chinese workers are currently attached at the hotel and have not travelled to China in the past six months.
Woo also said the hotel was going to review all Chinese bookings at the hotel to ensure that no visitors that come from the epicenter of the virus are accommodated at the hotel.
"Since the outbreak of the Corona virus in China there have been malicious messages in the social media warning people to avoid the hotel over the virus but that is just slandering and our competitors have taken advantage of that.
"At this hotel, we only have two Chinese nationals that are working here besides myself there is the maintenance manager, we have been here at this hotel for over six months we have not gone back to China during that period," said Woo.
He added, "We are now going to be reviewing all Chinese bookings, and all those other nationalities that have experienced the virus, so that there is no way there is a risk of infection."
Marketing manager Mathew Takura said while the effect of the rumors circulating have not impacted negatively in terms of cancellations as this coincided with the low peak season at the beginning of the year.
He said the company has taken a proactive stance buy putting internal control measures of admission to ensure that admitted local and foreign guests have not travelled to China in the recent past.
"While we can say we have been affected, it has not been much as you understand we are at the beginning of the year which is usually a low peak period from January to around February, then our business starts to peak in March.
"We already have bookings for this period and there have been no cancellations of bookings so far, and at check in as a control measures we request for national IDs and passport to check if the person has travelled to China or affected countries we are not accepting the booking.
"So, while there have been social media messages warning people to avoid our hotel, there have been no cancellations of bookings made to the hotel," said Takura.
Food and Beverages manager Wilford Madhombiro also dispelled what he termed as unfounded myths that the hotel serves Chinese cuisine that includes dog meat and snakes.
He said all the cuisine that is prepared at the hotel has an oriental feel but is prepared using local foodstuffs from
"The bulk of our customers are local at least 99% of our customers are local so everything we prepare here is sourced locally we buy from local farmers, nothing is imported from China.
"When we started this hotel, there has always been that misconception that we serve Chinese food that we have been fighting all along, but because 99% of our customers are local we serve them local cuisine.
"In terms of food preparation, we have tailor made our cooking to meek Zimbabwean standards, we do not cook dog meat or snake meet all that we cook is locally sourced because we are targeting Zimbabweans.
"We do not have any Chinese cuisine because we are targeting locals from civic organizations, government and individuals, we have become popular for tailor making oriental food preparations for our local cuisine by Zimbabwean chefs," said Madhombiro.