A supervisory staffer in the hospitality industry has revealed that she is pained by the perception that most males have about females who work in the tourism sector. A supervisor with Chimanimani Leisure Guest House, CHIPO MASARIRAMBI (CM) took time to open her heart in an interview with the Editor-in-Chief of Business Wave Africa.com, STEVE EPHRAEM (SE).
SE: When did you join the tourism industry?
CM: It was in October 2019 till now.
SE: How old are you?
CM: I am 26 years old.
SE: Why did you join the tourism industry?
CM: I joined the tourism industry out of passion. I love associating with different people and also love touring many places. So I thought that joining the tourism industry would suit me very much.
SE: Did that make you study towards tourism?
CM: Yes, indeed. I hold some qualifications in tourism and hospitality from a reputable college which is an associate of a leading local university. I did my studies in 2016.
SE: How was it like when you went for industrial attachment? Didn’t it give you some fear?
CM: Yaa, it was like…hey! I got attached to Midlands Hotel in the middle of Gweru town. I got used to it since I joined the hospitality out of love of the industry.
SE: Where are you working now?
CM: I am in Chimanimani at Chimanimani Leisure Guest House (formerly Hilltop).
SE: What is your responsibility there?
CM: I am doing front office, as a receptionist responsible for reservations, reception and supervision of trainees.
SE: Is tourism industry enjoyable?
CM: It’s enjoyable. I meet new people every day. I talk to new voices every day physically and on the phone. This gives me much exposure. I learn new cultures and this puts me in various networks.
SE: Do you face any challenges?
CM: Challenges come when you fail to put your bookings in writing. You double book and you know what it means when a guest arrives to find her room already occupied. Also, some clients are not honest. You reserve a room for them but they don’t show up on the day. Due to this norm, we lose business because when people phone in to reserve rooms on the same days booked by dishonest clients, we turn down reservations telling people that we are already fully reserved. Also as a supervisor, you oversee different characters, some who pose challenges to you. And as a key resource person, I have to be adaptive to challenging environments.
SE: Do you have any words for clients?
CM: I want to encourage society that it must stop branding our industry as that of promiscuous people or sex workers. Many people think that female workers in hotels, lodges or camps are there to offer sex to clients. This is a very wrong notion. We hold values and morals.
SE: Is the hospitality industry booming in Chimanimani?
CM: Chimanimani used to be rated second after Victoria Falls but declined at the beginning of the millennium. It became popular again when it was hit by Tropical Cyclone Idai. Now, it’s gaining ground bit by bit. Chimanimani’s main business comes from outdoor tourism; mountain hiking, scenery, bird viewing and others. For us with lodges, it shall require some time to boom. Visitors who frequent the place are tempted to do camping than sleep in lodges. Some prefer to drive back after touring the area than sleep here. I want to comment Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for giving us most business especially through conferencing.
SE: To part on a personal note, what is your favourite dish and clothing?
CM: I enjoy African traditional dishes especially sadza made of sorghum and the road runner as well as biltong. I drink juices and maheu. I prefer to wear simple casual.
SE: Any last words?
CM: I love you Zimbabwe and the world. Keep visiting Chimanimani and enjoy our hospitality.