FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa
                                  Bullish & optimistic

Dreaming of open skies

The airline for everyone
ISSUE 129: JULY 2018   
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

                                                                                                                                             S U N C I T Y CO N V E NTIO N CEN TRE

                                                                                                                                                      TH E M A S LOW S A N D TO N

                                                                                                                                                  T H E M A S LOW TIME S Q UA RE

Sun International’s premium resorts, hotels and casinos afford you the opportunity to choose from a wide
selection of state-of-the-art venues to host a conference, meeting or event, with each property offering
unparalleled experiences that will turn your visit into more than just a business trip. From The Table Bay in
the Western Cape, The Boardwalk in Eastern Cape, Sun City in the North West to The Maslow Sandton and
The Maslow Time Square in Gauteng, we’ve got South Africa covered to help you bring your ideal event to life.
To book or to find out more, call +27 11 780 7000 or visit

FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa
                                                  IN THE HEART
                                                   OF SANDTON

                                                  Set among the trees on the banks of the
                                                    Sand River, you will find peace and
                                                tranquillity unmatched in Jo’burg’s north.

                                                       Conveniently located to the
                                                Rivonia CBD and the major arterials, Sand
                                                 River Guest House offers you something
                                                  distinct: be it the 4 Star luxury rooms,
                                                  geared for self catering, or simply our
                                                unique, relaxing river and garden setting.

                         SAND RIVER
               T R E E
                         SAND RIVER
                             G U E S T

                         H O U S E
                                             H O U S E

                                   C O N F E R E N C E     V E N U E
                             G U E S T  H O U S E
                                      ★ ★ &★ ★
               T R E E   H O U S E   C O N F E R E N C E   V E N U E

                                     ★ ★ ★ ★

It’s hard to believe you’re in Jo’burg
  T: +27 (0) 11 234 1666 / M: +27 (0) 71 324 7857 /
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

                                                                                26                                       40
                                34                                               35                                      12
       It’s been a challenging few years,
       but since its inception in 2012 low-
       cost carrier fastjet has still managed
       to build a presence in five African
       countries and achieve what many
       before have tried, but failed at.
       What will be interesting to see is
       where it goes from here, as it looks
       to grow its offering into more African

        FEATURES                                       REGULARS

12 Hotel Groups in Africa
          Some of Africa’s biggest economies may
                                                      04 Message from the Team 34 Tried and Tested
                                                          What’s the editor ranting about now?          Hotel Check
          have endured a tough few years, but                                                           • The Capital Menlyn Maine
          that hasn’t stopped the world’s big hotel
          groups from continuing to bet big on the    06 News
                                                          Airline, hotel and other travel news
                                                                                                        Flight Check
                                                                                                        • Kulula
          continent and put together impressive
          development pipelines that ultimately           from Africa and beyond
                                                                                                    36 Q & A Interviews
                                                      10 W Hospitality Column
          could change the African landscape in
                                                                                                        • Mmatŝatŝi Ramawela – TBCSA
          years to come.
                                                                                                        • Marco Cristofoli – BCD

26 African Aviation
          It’s taken nearly 20 years, but Africa
                                                          Managing Director Trevor Ward gives
                                                          us his take on the West African hotel
                                                          industry                                  38 People on the Move
          does seem a step closer – albeit a small                                                      The movers and shakers –
          one – towards embracing an ‘open
                                                      11 ASATA Column                                   what they’re up to now

                                                                                                    40 Bite with the Editor
          skies’ environment, but it’s going to
          require the continent’s governments to          The latest from Chief Executive Officer
          put their money where their mouths are          Otto de Vries
                                                                                                        Sisa Ntshona – SA Tourism
          and actually put pen to paper.

Visit                                                                                             JULY2018 | 3
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

                         nderstanding the millennial traveller should     PUBLISHER
                                                                          Richard Lendrum
                         be a priority for any forward-thinking travel
                         brand or supplier.
                  That’s probably why there is currently a lot of         EDITOR
               research going into getting to know this market            Dylan Rogers
               segment better.
                  Travelport are the latest to release some interesting
               data regarding millennial travellers and what makes        CONTRIBUTORS
               them tick, specific, on this occasion, to business         Kate Kennedy
               travellers in South Africa.
                  According to the travel technolog y provider,           JOURNALIST
               the country’s millennial business travellers are           Kate Kennedy
               “demanding both cutting-edge digital support
               throughout their trips and on-demand advice from
                                                                          DESIGN AND LAYOUT
               human consultants.”
                                                                          Nadette Voogd
                  The research, which surveyed 11,000 travellers in
               19 countries who took at least one return flight in
               the last year, revealed that:                              SUBSCRIPTIONS AND PRODUCTION
               - 37% of South Africa’s millennial business               Mabel Ramafoko
                  travellers now count being unable to access
                  booking information across their devices 24/7 as
                  one of their biggest gripes                             SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICE
               - 3 9% say they get frustrated when companies don’t       Postal Address:
                                                                          PO Box 1746, Saxonwold, 2132
                  use data analytics to provide highly personalized
                                                                          Physical Address:
                  travel recommendations based on their past              247 Jan Smuts Avenue, Randburg
                  preferences                                             Telephone: +27 11 327 6107
               - 3 9% say not being able to get expert advice from
                  human consultants during the booking process is
                                                                          NIGERIAN OFFICE
                  a major pain point                                      3rd Floor, EuniBrown House195,
               The report also revealed an “escalating thirst for         Ikorodu Road, Palmgrove,Lagos, Nigeria
               ‘bleisure’” – itineraries combining both business and      Tel: +234 1 740 3236
               leisure. Over half (56%), for example, now regularly       Mobile: +234 803 963 0155
               extend their business trips by a few days so they can
               see local attractions.                                     PUBLISHER – NORTH & WEST AFRICA
                  To satisfy their ‘bleisure’ needs, most of South        Tope Ogbeni-Awe
               Africa’s millennial business travellers are now doing
               their own research before finalizing their travel
               plans. Among the most common tools used to build           EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
               their perfect itinerary are general travel advice          Mohammed Abdullahi
               sites (used by 89%) and review sites (used by 87%).
               Looking through videos and photos posted by travel
               brands on social media (81%) is also typical for
               South Africa’s millennials, as is using voice search
               technolog y (54%).
                  If required to book a trip themselves, the majority
               of millennial business travellers do so online
               through their desktop or laptop (64%). However,
               around one quarter say they now book business
               travel online through their smartphone (21%) or
               tablet (24%).
                  While on business trips, on average, South African
                                                                          Business Traveller Africa is published under licence from Perry
               millennial business travellers apparently use 18           Publications Limited.
               different categories of apps. Of these, map apps are       Warwick House, 25 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PP.
               among the most popular (used by 92%), along with           Tel: +44 20 7821 2740
               those that provide video tools (91%). There were also
               high results for social media (90%), travel review
               (81%) and destination guide (77%) apps.
                  Makes for interesting reading.

               Dylan Rogers
                                                                                 Follow us on:

4 | JULY2018                                                                                                       Visit
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

  Airlink Enhances Hoedspruit
  Airlink has revised and enhanced its Johannesburg-Hoedspruit
  and Cape Town-Hoedspruit services. Flights will now depart
  Johannesburg at 13h00 and arrive in Hoedspruit at 14h00 (was
  12h50), and depart again from Hoedspruit at 14h30 (was 13h20)
  to arrive in Johannesburg at 15h30 (was 14h20), Monday to Friday.
  Flights from Cape Town International Airport will depart at 12h20
  (was 11h15) and arrive in Hoedspruit at 14h50 (was 13h45), and
  depart again from Hoedspruit at 15h20 (was 14h20), arriving in Cape
  Town at 18h00 (was 17h00). The current flight schedule on Saturdays
  and Sundays will remain the same, due to Hoedspruit Airport
  operating hour constraints. The supplementary morning flights            BON Announces New
  commencing in August will depart Johannesburg at 09h50 and arrive
  in Hoedspruit at 10h50, Monday to Sunday. The flight will depart         KZN Hotel
  Hoedspruit at 11h20 and arrive in Johannesburg at 12h20.                 BON Hotels has extended its South African
                                                                           footprint into KwaZulu-Natal, with the takeover
                                                                           of the 64 on Gordon Hotel on 1 June. The 35-room
More BA Flights to SA                                                      boutique hotel in Durban’s Morningside suburb is
                                                                           situated close to the hub of Florida Road – which
British Airways will add four more weekly flights to its double-daily
                                                                           has seen a recent revival – is a two-minute drive
London-Johannesburg schedule at the end of October using a Boeing
                                                                           from the three major sports stadiums, is close to
787-800 Dreamliner. The airline currently offers 14 weekly A380 flights
                                                                           the Golden Mile and its popular beaches, and is 10
on this route. The flights will depart London Heathrow at 16h20 in the
                                                                           minutes from Durban’s International Convention
afternoon, arriving at O.R. Tambo International Airport at 05h40 the
                                                                           Centre. Facilities and services include a restaurant,
following morning. The return flight will leave Johannesburg at 07h40,
                                                                           bar and business facilities. The hotel also offers a
landing at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 17h50. There will also be three
                                                                           conference venue that can accommodate up to 30
additional weekly BA flights from London to Durban in October.

                                                                           New Properties for
                                                                           Tintswalo Lodges will be opening two new
                                                                           properties in 2018. The Tintswalo brand will
                                                                           also be expanding into a Premier Collection
                                                                           and a Classic Collection. The launch of the

  The Capital Launches New
                                                                           new Tintswalo Classic Collection will see the
                                                                           opening of Tintswalo at Lapalala Wilderness in

  Sandton Property                                                         the Waterberg (South Africa’s Limpopo province)
                                                                           and Tintswalo at Boulders Manor, a private
  The Capital Hotels & Apartments has opened The Capital On                villa overlooking Boulders Beach on the Cape
  The Park. The property is situated on Katherine Street, in close         Peninsula. The Tintswalo Premier Collection
  proximity to the Sandton CBD. The Capital is calling it Sandton’s        will incorporate existing flagship properties
  ‘only business resort’, and some of its features are an infinity pool,   Tintswalo Atlantic in Cape Town and Tintswalo
  sun deck, spa, signature outdoor champagne bar, and restaurant.          Safari Lodge and Tintswalo Manor House in the
  The property offers 175 standard rooms, five studio apartments           Manyeleti Game Reserve. Tintswalo at Boulders
  and 125 one and two-bedroom apartments. It also has a large              Manor will open in Cape Town on 1 September.
  conference centre that seats 500 delegates, a 24/7 on-the-go deli,       Sleeping up to 14 guests in seven rooms, Boulders
  and a g ym with its own personal trainer and specialised fitness         Manor will operate on a bed and breakfast basis,
  classes.                                                                 or as a private villa.

6 | JULY2018                                                                                  For more news, visit
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa
                                                         Traveller Expands
                                                         Corporate Travel
                                                         Corporate Traveller, a division of
                                                         the Flight Centre Travel Group,
                                                         has expanded its SmartSTAY and
                                                         SmartDRIVE corporate travel
                                                         programmes. Both initiatives reward
                                                         business travellers with a number of

  The Bull Run to be                                     exclusive benefits and value add-ons
                                                         when booking with various properties
  Revamped                                               and car hire companies within the
                                                         TravelSmart range. A few of these
  The Bull Run restaurant, located adjacent to the       perks include early check-in, free
  Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika        room upgrades and laundry service,
  Sandton on Maude Street, is undergoing a full          complimentary wi-fi and breakfast,
  revamp worth R12 million ($964,000), to increase
                                                         parking, unlimited mileage, a free
  capacity and create an ‘international’ feel, as well
                                                         additional driver feature with car hire, and bonus loyalty points. There
  as attract new patrons and provide a change of
                                                         are about 3,000 properties in the SmartSTAY programme, including
  scenery for regulars. Over 18 years of trading the
                                                         IHG, Accor, and Hilton. The Radisson Red Hotel in Cape Town is the
  restaurant has only undergone minor, essential
                                                         latest hotel to join the SmartSTAY portfolio. Ready Service is the latest
  changes to maintain the property and create
                                                         feature from SmartDRIVE, which offers a choice of unlimited mileage
  a more spacious entrance. For renovations to
                                                         options, insurance access waivers, guaranteed availability, and the
  take place, the Bull Run has closed its doors for
                                                         free additional driver feature available in various car hire groups with
  trading and is set to re-open in July.

  Fastjet Increases Harare–Vic Falls Flights
  Fastjet increased its flights between Harare and Victoria Falls with two additional frequencies from 2 July. The airline now
  serves the route with a twice-daily frequency, six days a week, with the only exception on Saturdays where the schedule
  remains unchanged with one flight.

   The Business Travel
    Club is giving away
    a 2-night midweek
    stay for two adults
     sharing at Turbine
      Boutique Hotel in
      Knysna valued at

                           For competition details
                           and to enter, go to our
                           Facebook page:

Visit                                                                                       JULY2018 | 7
FASTJET The airline for everyone - HOTEL GROUPS IN AFRICA - Business Traveller Africa

Total Technical
Support for
South Africa’s Comair Limited
and Lufthansa Technik have
signed a comprehensive long-
term Total Technical Support
contract with Lufthansa Technik
providing engineering, planning,
line maintenance and component
support for Comair’s future Boeing
737 MA X 8 fleet. The services will
commence in January 2019, when
Comair, as part of its fleet renewal
programme, will take delivery of
the first two of eight 737 MA X
8 aircraft on order. As part of
the TTS, Lufthansa Technik
supports Comair with a Technical
Operations Management,
integrating all MRO activities
contracted in the agreement into
                                        Turkish Adds Moroni to Network
                                        Turkish Airlines is now flying three times a week from Istanbul to Moroni, the
a comprehensive service package.
                                        capital of the Comoros Union. Moroni becomes the 304 th destination served by
Comair’s in-house engineering
                                        Turkish Airlines. Flight TK 748 will depart Istanbul at 01h40 and arrive in the
and fleet department will continue
                                        Comoros at 13h30. Return flight TK 748 will depart the Comoros at 16h40 and
to oversee all maintenance, repair
                                        arrive in Istanbul at 04h10 the next day. Both flights are scheduled for Mondays,
and overhaul services.
                                        Wednesdays and Saturdays.

                                                                           Air Namibia
                                                                           Commences Flights to
                                                                           West Africa
                                                                           Air Namibia has launched the Windhoek-Lagos-
                                                                           Accra route, providing a direct connection
                                                                           between Namibia and West Africa. The service
                                                                           will operate four times a week (Sunday, Monday,
                                                                           Wednesday and Friday). The routing will be
                                                                           Windhoek-Lagos-Accra, and the return will be
                                                                           Accra-Lagos-Windhoek. Air Namibia will service
                                                                           this new route with the Airbus A319, offering
                                                                           a seat configuration of 16 business class and 96
                                                                           economy class seats.

  IHG’s New Brand
  The InterContinental Hotels Group has launched voco, its
  new upscale hotel brand. It will focus primarily on conversion
  opportunities, working with high-quality individual and locally-
  branded hotels and leveraging IHG’s systems. This includes the
  group’s revenue management and technolog y capabilities, and IHG
  Rewards Club. Voco, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come
  together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an
  individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global brand.
  The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia
  and Africa region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater
  China over time. IHG expects to open more than 200 voco hotels in
  attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

8 | JULY2018                                                                                 For more news, visit
Travelport Signs
                                                                           Agreement with
                                                                           Travelport has signed a multi-year agreement
                                                                           with Qantas Airways that includes distribution
                                                                           of the Australian national carrier’s content and
                                                                           integration into Qantas’ recently announced
                                                                           NDC platform, the Qantas Distribution Platform.
  Lufthansa Upgrades IFE                                                   Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding
                                                                           merchandising solution has been deployed,
  Lufthansa has upgraded and expanded its in-flight entertainment
  programme on long-haul flights. Now passengers have a choice of          giving over 65,000 Travelport-connected travel
  around 180 films in all travel classes – an increase of around 30%.      agencies globally access to images of cabins
  The ‘Holly wood Recent Hits’ category allows travellers to choose        and meals. These agents will also be able to
  from numerous successful Holly wood films from the past 12 to 24         book ancillaries such as extra legroom seating.
  months. There are also more than 270 T V productions to choose           Travelport is the first operator of a global
  from. For families, there are 22 films suitable for children and 31      distribution system to be granted the highest
  T V programmes.                                                          certification by IATA for its New Distribution
                                                                           Capability airline distribution technolog y.

Radisson Moves into Zambia
Radisson Hotels is adding a new territory to its portfolio with the
signing of the Park Inn by Radisson Lusaka Longacres in Zambia.
Radisson’s African portfolio consists of 83 hotels and more than 17,500
rooms in operation and under development. Located in the Longacres
suburb of Lusaka, the hotel will be situated in a prime location within
the city’s concentration of embassies, diplomatic missions and United
Nations offices. It will form part of a mixed-use development, which
will include a 9,000m 2 shopping mall. The 136-room Park Inn by
Radisson Lusaka Longacres is expected to open in 2020 and will offer
a mixture of standard rooms and suites, along with an all-day dining
restaurant and bar. The meetings and events area will include one
ballroom, three meeting rooms and a boardroom. The hotel will also
house a well-equipped g ym.

                                                                          KLM & Kulula Codeshare
                                                                          KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the South African
                                                                          airline have signed a codeshare agreement
                                                                          to expand the airlines’ respective networks. KLM
                                                                          will add its ‘KL’ code to’s domestic route
                                                                          network, enabling KLM’s passengers connecting
                                                                          in Johannesburg and Cape Town to continue with
                                                                          a single ticket issue and a one-stop check-in and
                                                                          baggage transfer to East London, Cape Town, Durban
                                                                          and George from Johannesburg, and Durban from
                                                                          Cape Town.

  AVANI Maseru Re-opens
  AVANI Maseru Hotel in Lesotho has opened its doors after an             FlySafair Partners with
  extensive $2 million (R25 million) renovation that included a
  refurbishment of all 105 hotel rooms, the hotel’s water supply and      Flight Centre
  reticulation, public areas and restaurant. The project was finished     South African low-cost carrier FlySafair has entered
  in six months. Each of the hotel’s rooms and suites were upgraded,      into a strategic partnership with the Flight Centre
  including a complete redesign of the bathrooms and vanities, and        Travel Group, providing the group’s agents with
  each room has new sliding doors. The hotel has upgraded its digital     greater access to the airline’s inventory. Through
  offering, including adding digital telephones, and has expanded its     the mutually-beneficial partnership, Flight Centre
  wi-fi offering. The hotel’s conferencing venue was also refurbished     agents can now pass the benefits of the airline
  with new carpets and ceilings.                                          product on to their clients.

For more news, visit                                                                   JULY2018 | 9

                    An Eye on
                    West Africa
Trevor Ward              have lived on the west coast for over 15 years       spread along the north shore of the lagoon, which is
MD: W Hospitality        now. Sure, I haven’t been every where yet, but       maybe 300 to 400 metres wide, looking across to the
Group                    having been to resorts in several countries, from    peninsula, itself about 125 metres wide, and then to
                    Senegal all the way round to Cameroon and beyond,         the Atlantic Ocean.
                    I thought I pretty much got the gist – some lovely          I’m not one for the traditional beach-sea-horizon-
                    sandy beaches, such as those in Sierra Leone and          sky view, but this lagoon view is, to me, absolutely
                    The Gambia, and tons of culture and history such          fantastic.
                    as that in Ghana (including a traditional drumming          You can hear the ocean from here, you can swim
                    school!) and Nigeria, that kind of thing. But nothing     in the lagoon (it’s not recommended to swim in the
                    prepared me for the beauty of the Atlantic coastline      ocean, too dangerous) and all sorts of water sports:
                    in eastern Côte d’Ivoire – or at least one piece of it.   speedboats, canoes, water-skiing and more. The
                       I was heading for Assinie-Mafia, which is about        palm trees across the water, a glimpse of the ocean if
                    90 minutes’ drive from Abidjan airport. The arrivals      you’re high enough up (the peninsula is pretty flat),
                    hall there is rather civilised, with a book store, easy   the sound of the surf, and the tinkle of the ice in
                    currency exchange, a bar and even a Burger King.          your gin and tonic – just perfect!
                    Any way, I head out of the airport, and instead of          The main hotels on the lagoon are the African
                    travelling north into the city, I head east, along the    Queen Lodge, the Coucoué Lodge and Les Marines
                    Abidjan beach front. That looked nice enough, if a        de Babihana. The Coucoué has a massive store
                    little windswept, but my first stop was to be Grand-      of speedboats, jet skis and quad bikes, and both
                    Bassam. Sadly, the town has a tragic history, after a     Coucoué and Marines have restaurants over the
                    terrorist attack in 2016 left 16 tourists and soldiers    water. These hotels are okay, but nothing special,
                    dead. That was over two years ago, and whilst the         although I was impressed with a suite I saw at the
                    dead and injured are not forgotten, life goes on,         Marines, with a glazed bathroom looking out into a
                    and the tourists have returned, although fewer than       tiny private garden.
                    before.                                                     What is special in Assinie-Mafia is the new kid
                       The old quarter of Grand-Bassam is a UNESCO            on the block, the Maison d’Akoula, a truly beautiful
                    World Heritage site, because of its history as a major    palace, created by Mme Akoula Amon Chauvin-
                    city and port, but today it’s really rather faded.        Buthaud, the propriétaire, who designed everything
                    Wikivoyage says the town is “Filled to the brim with      herself. It is a labour of love, and has just eight
                    French colonial charm”, but I prefer Lonely Planet’s      rooms, four on the ‘mainland’ and four on the
                    “Arty and bathed in faded glory”. Lots of interesting-    peninsula, the latter accessed only by boat (a two-
                    looking, but pretty decrepit buildings. Even the          minute ride). What rooms! They’re enormous, with
                    acclaimed ceramics factory was, well, decrepit.           beautiful furnishings and décor, either on the water
                       The leading hotel in Grand-Bassam is the Hotel         or in the beautiful gardens, privacy and exclusivity
                    L’Etoile du Sud, on the beach, a small beach with         assured.
                    angry-looking surf. The rooms are nice enough, but          Most of the guests for the resorts in Assinie-Mafia
                    the balconies which form the entrance to the rooms        are residents of Abidjan, leisure at the weekend and,
                    are in poor condition, and I was less than impressed.     for those with meetings facilities, conference groups
                    The Afrikland Hotel is one of the most sterile I have     during the week. They don’t get much demand from
                    ever come across (and empty), whilst the Nsa Hotel        other countries in the region, but then you didn’t
                    is just awful. So I came away from Grand-Bassam           know such a place existed, did you? Neither did I
                    very disappointed, wondering what it might have           before a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps I shouldn’t
                    been like when it was a real hotspot on the West          have told you about Assinie-Mafia, but then the
                    African coast.                                            accommodation stock is not huge, and it’s not going
                       Next stop was my real destination, Assine-Mafia,       to be overrun any time soon. Before the troubles
                    about another 30 minutes’ drive east of Grand-            hit the country, there was both a Club Med and a
                    Bassam. The road from Grand-Bassam goes a bit             Valtur village at Assinie-Mafia, on the peninsula,
                    inland to the north, and then plunges south to            but they’ve been closed for a long time now, and
                    Assouindé, where there are numerous little surf           their type of mass tourism would (in my opinion) be
                    clubs including Kame Surf – I swear the list of           inappropriate in the resort today.
                    cocktails in their bar is the longest in Africa. Head       It ’s a real treat, is Assinie-Mafia, I loved the
                    east along the coast and there’s Assinie-Mafia,           peace and quiet – not to mention the prawns and
                    spread out along the coast, with several resorts and      the G&T! C
                    private villas. Turn into one of them, and there in
                    front of you is (finally!) the reason for my use of
                    superlatives – the Assinie Lagoon. The resort is

10 | JULY2018                                                                                               Visit

                           Save the
                    easoned road warriors know how to navigate
                    airport security effortlessly and get the most
                    out of their frequent flyer miles. However,
            when it comes to saving the planet while travelling,
            many of us still have a lot to learn.
               Business travel can be a burden not just to jet-
            lagged business travellers, but to the environment as
            well. Each trip generates CO2 and can swiftly ramp
            up a company’s carbon footprint. By applying some
            basic environmentally-friendly principles, business
            travellers can reduce, reuse and recycle while
               Among the measures you and your company can
            adopt to become more Environmentally-friendly is
            ensuring you position sustainability as a central
            component of the travel policy and identify carbon-
            offsetting travel suppliers.
               Identify Environmentally-friendly hotels which are
            actively taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint
            by using flow-restrictive shower heads, low-flow
            toilets and linen programmes that reduce waste.
               A further measure would be to consider hotels
            that are strategically located to attend the meetings
            and conferences at your destination. This will allow
            your company to avoid additional transport costs in-
            destination as well as have a positive impact on the
               When it comes to flights – which are by far the
            biggest corporate travel carbon culprit – consider
            smarter air choices such as non-stop flights without
            layovers or pack light to reduce the weight of the
            plane as much as possible. Technolog y is making it
            even easier to fly green. Electronic travel documents
            and mobile boarding passes are just a few examples
            to avoid printing out travel paperwork.
               Another fun way to be more environmentally-
            friendly is to add a few days of bleisure onto your
            corporate trip. Not only will this help you take the
            stress out of your business trip, it’s also a great way
            to reduce your carbon footprint by taking one trip
            instead of two separate trips for business and leisure.
               Although travel will always have an impact on the
            environment, travel buyers and travellers can make a
            difference by adopting a few simple more sustainable
            business travel practices. Work with your ASATA
            travel management company to identify some of the
            ways in which you could together help to curb your
            carbon footprint. C

            Otto de Vries
            ASATA CEO

Visit                                   JULY2018 | 11

Bullish and
optimistic      The world’s big hotel groups still see Africa as relatively
                untapped and under-supplied, and they continue to put
                together development pipelines that look impressive on paper,
                but require a greater conversion rate to make a material
                impact on the African hotel landscape in the short-term.

12 | JULY2018                                                                   Visit
                                                                            t’s been a difficult few years
                                                                            for some of Africa’s biggest
                                                                            economies, but that hasn’t
                                                                        stopped the world’s big hotel
                                                                        groups from continuing to bet big
                                                                        on the continent, as they continue
                                                                        to see value in what it has to offer.
                                                                          It’s obvious that these groups
                                                                        are taking a long-term view on
                                                                        Africa, and they are happy to ride
                                                                        the tough times and see their –
                                                                        and their partners’ – investments
                                                                        through, provided they find the
                                                                        right deals and commercial models
                                                                        to ensure a decent return.
                                                                          Before we take a look at who
                                                                        has made the biggest moves in
                                                                        the past year, in terms of hotel
                                                                        development and the signing of
                                                                        deals, it’s worth reviewing the
                                                                        performance of the African hotel
                                                                        sector in the same period, to get
                                                                        a sense of the type of base the
                                                                        industry is working off.
                                                                          In this regard, HTI Consulting
                                                                        always provides an interesting
                                                                        snapshot, and its review of 2017
                                                                        had some thought-provoking
                                                                        findings, particularly in terms of
                                                                        some of the African continent’s
                                                                        hotspots. For this report, HTI
                                                                        provided a brief summary of the
                                                                        top and bottom five performers
                                                                        across 14 African cities for 2017,
                                                                        as indicated by STR Global.
                                                                        Occupancy rates, average daily
                                                                        rates, rooms sold and future
                                                                        supply were all taken into account,
                                                                        but our focus, for now, will be on
                                                                        the occupancies achieved by these
                                                                          For starters, the report said that:
                                                                        “Both upward and downward
                                                                        trends were noticeable across
                                                                        the continent in 2017, with more
                                                                        positive conditions in West Africa
                                                                        as oil economies geared up in
                                                                        response to a recovering oil price.
                                                                        Political instability in several
                                                                        East African countries served to
                                                                        dampen those markets in the area,
                                                                        albeit on a temporary basis.”
                                                                          The report, authored by
                                                                        HTI Consulting’s CEO Wayne
                                                                        Troughton, starts with a look
                                                                        at occupancy growth and picks
                                                                        out Lagos and Accra as the lead
                                                                        performers of the 14 African cities
                                                                          “This, as gradual economic
                                                                        recovery in the countries of
                                                                        Nigeria and Ghana saw both
                                      Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch   these cities benefit from increased

Visit                                                               JULY2018 | 13

                                                                                        investor uncertainty in new
                                                                                        government policy, limiting
                                                                                        business travel to the city,” said
                                                                                        the report. “Additionally, direct
                                                                                        flights to key tourism destinations
                                                                                        reduced leisure demand in Dar es
                                                                                           There were also lower
                                                                                        occupancies in Addis Ababa
                                                                                        (Ethiopia) and Gaborone
                                                                                           “Although supply increased in
                                                                                        these cities, demand declined due
                                                                                        to political unrest (Addis Ababa)
                                                                                        and economic challenges driven by
                                                                                        mining (Botswana),” said HTI.

                                                                                        BIG PIPELINES
                                                                 Accra Marriott Hotel   That, at least, provides some sort
                                                                                        of base to work off, although it’s
                                                                                        unlikely to have any effect on the
                                                                                        big international groups who have
                                                                                        extensive development pipelines,
                                                                                        some with fairly lengthy lead
                                                                                           “Investing in the hotel
                                                                                        industry in Africa is a long-
                                                                                        term play and like the rest of
                                                                                        the world Africa also works in
                                                                                        economic cycles,” says Andrew
                                                                                        McLachlan, The Radisson Hotel
                                                                                        Group’s Senior Vice-President,
                                                                                        Business Development, Africa and
                                                                                        Indian Ocean. “However, due to
                                                                                        imbalance in supply and demand
                                                                                        in many African markets we are
                                                                                        still experiencing RevPAR growth,
                                                                                        even though some of the bigger
                                                                                        economies have slowed down.”
                                                                                           W Hospitality Group specialises
                                                                                        in the provision of advisory
                                                                                        services to the hotel, tourism and
                                                  Radisson Hotel, Dakar Diamniadio      leisure industries, and among the
                                                                                        range of services it provides its
                                                                                        clients with is its annual ‘Hotel
                                                                                        Chain Development Pipelines
business demand,” said the          Kenya’s Nairobi, which was the                      in Africa’ report, which looks at
report. “Growth in Lagos came       weakest of the cities assessed,                     the development activity of the
off a low base, however, and, in    with a decline in occupancy                         branded groups.
light of more positive economic     of 11.1%. Here, according to                           The 2018 version makes for
projections, should see future      HTI, new supply (an additional                      interesting reading.
occupancy rates boosted to former   478 rooms, of which 334 were                           According to W Hospitality,
highs. Strong growth in Accra       internationally branded - Four                      Marriott International tops
propelled occupancy rates to a      Points by Sheraton, Park Inn by                     this year’s list for the most
healthy level just above 60%.       Radisson), coupled with a decline                   planned new hotel rooms under
Other markets showing moderate      in demand due to the violence                       construction in Africa. The group
growth included the cities of       surrounding the August 2017                         currently has a development
Pretoria, Durban and Windhoek,      elections, substantially reduced                    pipeline of 93 new hotels
whilst Namibia’s economy            accommodation demand.                               comprising 17,708 rooms in
revealed signs of recovery after      Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)                          Africa, and almost 50% of those
poor economic growth in 2016.”      followed Nairobi with a decline in                  rooms – 8,587 – are already under
   So, that was the good.           occupancy of 9%.                                    construction.
   The bad was in the form of         “This was driven largely by                          “Africa makes for a very

14 | JULY2018                                                                                      Visit
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compelling story,” said Alex            Hospitality report, with 6,352                   moving, we ultimately remove it
Kyriakidis, Marriott’s President        rooms under construction and 54                  from the pipeline. It’s important to
& Managing Director Middle              hotels in its pipeline.                          retain your credibility. Ultimately,
East & Africa, speaking late last          “We’ve got a very credible                    five to eight percent of a pipeline
year. “We have always believed in       pipeline and the deals in there are              is inactive at any stage, but there
the potential of Africa and were        formally signed deals, whether                   I don’t think we’re any different
the first global chain to make a        that’s a management agreement                    from our competitors.”
significant investment in Africa        or a franchise agreement,” says                     Like Kyriakidis and Marriott,
with the acquisition of Protea          Mike Collini, Hilton’s Vice-                     Hilton are clear about the
Hotels in 2014. This was further        President Development, sub-                      opportunity that Africa still
consolidated with the acquisition       Saharan Africa. “We don’t include                presents.
of Starwood Hotels. With                letters of understanding or agreed                  “We remain extremely bullish
economic growth, a rising middle        terms. We want credibility and                   on hotel growth and development
class and rapid urbanisation,           we recognise that some projects                  in Africa,” says Collini. “We
the demand for travel and high-         fall foul of funding or funding                  absolutely see the need and
quality lodging is growing.”            takes longer than expected, or                   believe we have the right brands
   Marriott’s most recent openings      planning permits come in. But,                   to meet that growing need.”
in 2018 include the Sheraton            if something is stuck and isn’t                     The Radisson Hotel Group is
Bamako Hotel, which marked the                                                           third with 4,840 rooms currently
group’s entry into Mali in West                                                          being built and an overall pipeline
                                                            Hilton Garden Inn M babane
Africa, and the long-awaited Accra                                                       of 39 hotels.
Marriott Hotel in Ghana, which is                                                           “It continues to be one of
strategically located in the heart of                                                    the fastest-growing and most
Airport City and opposite Kotoka                                                         vibrant sectors of the continent’s
International Airport. It has 208                                                        economy,” says McLachlan. “Even
rooms, three dining venues, 800                                                          with challenges like drops in
square metres of meeting space, a                                                        oil prices, visa regulations and
pool and a fully-equipped fitness                                                        slowdown in global economies,
centre.                                                                                  the hotel sector has significant
   “Accra is the heartbeat of                                                            potential to create jobs and uplift
Ghana, a dynamic city bustling                                                           inclusive economic growth across
with energ y,” says Kyriakidis. “A                                                       the continent.”
commercial, manufacturing, and                                                              “We have identified 12 hotspots
communications centre with great                                                         (tier one cities) which we strongly
shopping and excellent nightlife,                                                        believe we can great scale (five-
it makes an interesting travel                                                           plus hotels per city) across at least
destination both for business and                                                        four of our five brands in Africa.
for leisure.”                                                                            Our hotspots in are Cape Town,
   Hilton Hotels & Resorts                                                               Johannesburg, Durban, Mauritius,
is ranked second on the W                                                                Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Addis
                                                                                         Ababa, Lagos, Abuja, Accra,
                                                                                         Abidjan and Dakar.”
                                                                                            According to W Hospitality,
                                                                                         most of fourth-placed AccorHotel’s
                                                                                         deals are fairly new, signed in
                                                                                         2016 and 2017, and therefore “it
                                                                                         is not surprising that only 36%
                                                                                         of rooms in its pipeline are under
                                                                                            In total, Accor has 37 hotels in
                                                                                         its development pipeline, totalling
                                                                                         10,059 rooms. Louvre (16 hotels
                                                                                         and 2,414 rooms) and Meliã (six
                                                                                         hotels and 1,935 rooms) round
                                                                                         off the top six, but significantly,
                                                                                         both have all their pipeline rooms
                                                                                         under construction. Similarly,
                                                                                         seventh-placed Best Western (17
                                                                                         hotels and 1,697 rooms) has just
                                                                                         over 91% of its pipeline rooms
                                                                                            Hyatt International,
                                              Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport    Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, and

16 | JULY2018                                                                                        Visit

                          TOP 10 CHAINS BY PIPELINE STATUS
 RANK COMPANY                                      HOTELS TOTAL
    1       Marriott International                        93    17,708    8,587     48.5%
    2       Hilton                                        54    11,528    6,352     55.1%
    3       Radisson Hotel Group                          39    7,868     4,840     61.5%
    4       AccorHotels                                   37    10,059    3,648     36.3%
    5       Louvre Hotels Group                           16    2,414     2,414     100.0%
    6       Meliã Hotels International                    6     1,935     1,935     100.0%
    7       Best Western Hotels & Resorts                 17    1,697     1,552     91.5%
    8       Hyatt International                           9     1,768     1,188     67.2%
    9       Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts                    7     1,535     1,075     70.0%
   10       InterContinental Hotels Group                 9     1,891      856      45.3%             T he Michelangelo Towers

                               HOTEL CHAIN DEVELOPMENT PIPELINES IN AFRICA 2018
                                       TOP 10 BRANDS BY PIPELINE STATUS
  RANK                    COMPANY                BRANDS                           HOTELS     TOTAL
     1          Radisson Hotel Group             Radisson Blu                       24       5,318        3,322               68.6%
     2          Hilton                           Hilton                             24       6,687        3,014               45.1%
     3          Marriott International           Marriott                           16       3,438        2,368               68.9%
     4          Meliá Hotels & Resorts           Meliá Hotels & Resorts             6        1,935        1,935              100.0%
     5          Hilton                           Hilton Garden Inn                  17       2,818         1,774              63.0%
     6          Louvre Hotels Group              Golden Tulip                       9        1,662        1,662              100.0%
     7          Hilton                           DoubleTree by Hilton               9        1,517        1,305               86.0%
     8          AccorHotels                      Fairmont                           8        2,977         1,124              37.8%
     9          Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts       Mövenpick                          7        1,535        1,075               70.0%
     10         Marriott International           JW Marriott                        6        1,645        1,038               63.1%

InterContinental Hotels Group              Obviously, both these                                 “Swiss International is under
complete the top 10.                     developments could have an                            discussion for additional hotel
   An interesting development            impact on Accor’s future pipeline,                    developments in Ethiopia, Ghana,
in April saw Accor announce a            particularly in Africa.                               Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria,
strategic partnership with the             If one looks at an international                    Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda,
South Africa-based Mantis Group,         group that doesn’t feature in W                       Zambia and Zimbabwe,” says CEO
whereby Accor acquired a 50%             Hospitality’s top 10, it’s clear                      & President Henri Kennedie.
stake in the group that consists         that there is plenty of additional                      No surprise, then, that Swiss
of 28 managed properties, plus           activity out there, as well.                          International are another group
a global network of branded                Swiss International Hotels &                        that are happy to bet big on the
hotels and residences. Even more         Resorts currently has 30 hotels in                    future of Africa.
recently, Accor announced that           a pipeline that spreads over Africa,                    “Although several countries
it had signed an agreement with          Middle East and India, and in that                    in Africa have suffered severe
Moevenpick Holding and Kingdom           pipeline are eight newly-developed                    economic challenges in the
Holding to acquire Moevenpick            hotels the group plans to open in                     past couple of years, there are
Hotels & Resorts. Moevenpick             Africa by the end of 2019.                            still encouraging signs that
currently operates in 27 countries         They include three properties                       businesses - mainly the hospitality
with 84 hotels (more than 20,000         in Kenya, four in Nigeria, and                        industry – are turning a corner,”
rooms) and has a particularly            one in Uganda, across its Swiss                       says Kennedie. “The hospitality
strong presence in Europe and the        International, Royal Swiss and                        business and its growth have been
Middle East.                             Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites brands.                   influenced by the expansion of

18 | JULY2018                                                                                             Visit
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major international companies         2018! It would not, therefore, be
into Africa, the improving safety     amiss of us to suggest that there is
and security factors which once       a degree of over-optimism on the            “ The overall pipeline for
crippled growth in Africa, the
increase in public spending mainly
                                      part of the chains regarding their
                                      expansion plans.”
                                                                                  hotel chains in Africa looks
from the fast-growing middle            Worth noting.                              healthy for the future. ”
class, the reliable and perfect
climate, and Africa’s extensive       INDIVIDUAL BRANDS
natural landscapes, resources and     If one looks at individual
untouched environment.”               brands and refers back to the W                        cities, airport resorts and safari
   That’s another impressive          Hospitality report, it’s interesting                   lodges,” says Collini. “Throughout
pipeline, furthering bolstering the   to see that Radisson Blu has the                       the next five years, we hope to
number of hotels planned for the      largest number of rooms under                          be able to secure 100 conversion
African continent over the next       construction – beating the Hilton                      opportunities (managed and
few years.                            brand by over 300 rooms.                               franchised) with some 15-20,000
   “The overall pipeline for hotel       “The majority of our portfolio is                   rooms to significantly grow our
chains in Africa looks healthy for    Radisson Blu – it’s our core brand                     footprint across many countries in
the future,” says the W Hospitality   and the brand we always bring                          Africa.”
report. “Notably, Mangalis, a new     to market first,” says McLachlan.                         With regards Hilton Garden Inn,
hotel brand launched in 2011,         “As we continue to develop, I                          Hilton now has 17 properties in
has already managed to build a        expect to increase the number of                       its pipeline and expects to open
significant pipeline, with 1,746      Park Inn by Radisson properties                        hotels under this brand in Lusaka
rooms in 14 hotels, growing the       in countries like South Africa and                     (Zambia), Gaborone (Botswana)
existing portfolio of 425 rooms       Nigeria, where I can create scale                      and Mbabane (Swaziland) this
in three hotels by more than four     within the country.”                                   year alone.
times. Currently, five of the 14         Hilton has two other brands                            “With all our brands, I think
hotels in the pipeline are under      in the top 10 - Hilton Garden                          Hilton Garden Inn is going to
construction.”                        Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton –                         grow to be the biggest over time,”
   But there is also a word of        boosted by the chain’s $50 million                     says Collini. “When I identified
caution from W Hospitality’s          Hilton Africa Growth Initiative,                       200 strategic targets across sub-
Managing Director, Trevor Ward.       which was unveiled at the Africa                       Saharan Africa, almost a hundred
   “Of the total 76,322 rooms         Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali,                      of those were with Hilton Garden
in the African pipeline, almost       Rwanda late last year.                                 Inn. The reason for that is that
34,000 rooms are said by the             “HAGI is intended to support                        it’s a highly effective and cost-
chains to have scheduled openings     the conversion of existing trading                     efficient model. It’s cost-efficient
this year and in 2019,” he says.      hotels into Hilton’s system, and                       to build and very efficient to
“The reality on ground, however,      we expect these funds to create                        operate. In terms of cost-per-key,
is that 4,000 of those rooms were     conversion opportunities primarily                     it’s almost half of that of a Hilton-
not even under construction as        for our Hilton, DoubleTree by                          branded property. You have to go
at the time of our data collection    Hilton, and Curio brands in                            with what the market dictates, and
– which was the first quarter of      multiple markets, including key                        most of these markets are showing

20 | JULY2018                                                                                            Visit
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Milestones are set beside the road not to commemorate how far you have come, but to mark the distance to the
destination ahead. At Preferred Hotels & Resorts, we are proud to celebrate five decades of travel and hospitality. It is a
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                                                                                                         C A P E ROYA L E L U X U RY
                                                                                                          HOT EL & R ESIDENCE
                                                                                                     Cape Town, Wester n Cape, South Af r ica

                                                                                                            SA ROVA S TA N L E Y
                                                                                                                 Nairobi, Kenya

© 2018 Preferred Hotels & Resorts   18_231                                                                  HOT EL SE A CLIFF
                                                                                                            Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

                                                                                              P R E F E R R E D H O T E L S . C O M

                                                                                      the debt on new hotel projects.”
                                                                                         Sure, there isn’t an African
                                                                                      group or brand in the top 10 of W
                                                                                      Hospitality’s report, but the likes
                                                                                      of South Africa’s City Lodge have
                                                                                      been quietly venturing out of their
                                                                                      shells and have started spreading
                                                                                      their wings, albeit slowly and
                                                                                         Currently, the group is putting
                                                                                      the finishing touches to its 171-
                                                                                      room City Lodge Hotel at Two
                                                                                      Rivers Mall in Nairobi. The hotel
                                                                                      opened its first phase at the
                                                                                      beginning of this year and City
                                                                                      Lodge says it should be fully
                                                                                      operational by August/September.
                                               City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall    The 149-room City Lodge Hotel
                                                                                      Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) is
                                                                                      expected to be operational by
                                                                                      September/October. Similarly,
                                                                                      the 148-room City Lodge Hotel
                                                                                      Maputo (Mozambique) is also
                                                                                      expected to be operational by
                                                                                         “They are seen as part of
                                                                                      a selected expansion drive to
                                                                                      provide quality and affordable
                                                                                      accommodation in parts of East
                                                                                      and Southern Africa for mainly
                                                                                      business (but also leisure)
                                                                                      travellers,” says Angus Macmillan,
                                                                                      City Lodge spokesperson.
                                                                                         City Lodge believes it is nicely-
                                                                                      positioned for growth, thanks to
                                                                                      its diverse offering of four distinct
                                                                                      brands: Road Lodge (one-star),
                                                                                      Town Lodge (two-star), City
                                                                                      Lodge (three-star), and Courtyard
                                                                    BON Hotel Abuja      “Our current focus is very much
                                                                                      on the three-star brand, but we
                                                                                      do see some opportunity for our
                                                                                      other brands,” says Macmillan.
that Hilton Garden Inn is the right     those international pipelines.                “We already have a Town Lodge in
brand – the most profitable and           “It’s encouraging to see the                Windhoek and one in Gaborone.
the one with the best returns.”         interest in Africa by most of the             In some countries there is really
   The rest of the brands top 10        international groups, as this is              only opportunity in the capital
is made up of Marriott (Marriott        the next logical destination after            city, but this is subject to land
and JW Marriott), Meliã Hotels          Asia and will make sense for the              and building costs etc. Very few
& Resorts, Louvre’s Golden Tulip        brands to develop their footprint             African countries offer viable
brand, Accor’s Fairmont brand,          on the continent to service the               development opportunities outside
and Moevenpick of Moevenpick            loyalty programmes,” says Andrew              of their capital cities – Kenya
Hotels & Resorts.                       Rogers, aha Hotels & Lodges                   being one of the few. Having a
                                        Business Development Executive.               one-to-four-star brand portfolio,
AFRICAN GROUPS                          “It would be most interesting to              we are able to look for suitable
If one looks at the W Hospitality       see the brands invest their own               opportunities, even if these are
report, Africa’s big hotel groups are   monies into the continent, as                 limited.”
lagging behind their international      opposed to simply seeing them                    City Lodge may be looking at
counterparts, but that doesn’t mean     advance fees in the form of key               East and Southern Africa, but
they are inactive.                      monies and also see them start to             BON Hotels sees the opportunity
   Also, a word of caution – or, at     take an equity stake in projects, so          in West Africa.
least, a different perspective on       as to assist with developers raising             BON Hotels is a South African

22 | JULY2018                                                                                     Visit
hospitality company that owns,        and from abroad.                              place at the three, four and five-
manages and markets hotels               The group has identified and is            star international service standard
throughout Africa, and it has         focusing on building a triangular             hotels, which has most definitely
grown its Nigerian presence with      city circuit incorporating trade,             broadened our expansion into
the more recent acquisition of 11     city and northern routes that will            other regions of Nigeria.”
additional properties. In doing so,   effectively tie up the trade routes             Stehlik also has a view on
it has increased its portfolio in     for West Africa running through               property developers in Africa who
West Africa to 25 hotels (although,   Nigeria.                                      embark on hotel projects without
currently, only seven are open)          The circuits include: Lagos-               finding the right partner and
across 14 cities and become           Abuja-Port Harcourt; Owerri–                  doing sufficient research.
Nigeria’s largest and fastest-        Onitswa–Asaba–Awka-Enugu;                       “I’ve experienced it time and
growing hotel group.                  Asaba–Orca-Enugu; and Abuja–                  time again – desperate property
   The group has also unveiled a      Kano–Kaduna–Zaria–Yola.                       developers reaching out to us after
revamped BON Hotel Abuja, with           “There has been a total under-             the hallmark DIY steps have been
the completion of phases 1 and 2      supply of international operators             exhausted on their hotel project,”
that included a refurbishment and     trading in Nigeria, due to security           he says. “Two or three trips to
redecoration of the existing rooms    issues, trading difficulties, lack            China’s ‘one-stop hotel design’
and bathrooms, an upgrade and         of knowledge and understanding                shops later, without taking any
revamp of all the public areas, and   of the local environment,” says               cognisance of developing a hotel
the addition of a swimming pool,      Bernard Cassar, Director of BON               with the markets it will serve in
a g ym and a coffee lounge.           Hotels International West Africa.             mind, and a few too many plunges
   With 14 new hotel projects            “Previously, the bigger hotel              into his own capital, funds have
underway and a further 11 being       players entered the market with               dried up – 30% into the project
signed, BON Hotels is on track        five-star offerings at a high                 and the dream has become a
to tie up the trade routes linking    price,” says Guy Stehlik, CEO of              nightmare.”
Nigeria, making life a whole lot      BON Hotels. “BON is bringing                    According to Stehlik, the most
easier for commuters both local       affordability back into the market            common errors occur at the offset

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                                                                                     across the continent. They include
                                        Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch
                                                                                     the Kafue River Cliff Hotel &
                                                                                     Conference Centre in Zambia, an
                                                                                     airport hotel in Lusaka, and the
                                                                                     Gondar Hills Resort in Ethiopia.
                                                                                        “The growth in Zambia is
                                                                                     following our strateg y to ideally
                                                                                     have a presence or beachhead in
                                                                                     major/gateway cities and then try
                                                                                     and develop a circuit in the rest of
                                                                                     the country,” says Rogers. “We are
                                                                                     following mainly a tourism-driven
                                                                                     routing into East Africa and SADC
                                                                                     countries, where we can create
                                                                                     demand for smaller cities and
                                                                                     lodge-type opportunities. Ideally,
                                                                                     we wish to be located near major
                                                                                     routes, and together with airport
                                                                                     mixed-use developments, allow
                                                                                     our guests to have ease of access,
                                                                                     various alternative offerings, and
                                                                                     be closer to their places of work.”
                                                                                        Slightly less active is Legacy
                                                           T he Maslow Time Square   Hotels & Resorts, which now has
                                                                                     a portfolio of properties across
                                                                                     South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe,
                                                                                     Nigeria, Gabon and Ghana.
                                                                                        In terms of development, it has
                                                                                     plans for a 60-room hotel on the
                                                                                     Sabi River adjacent to Kruger Park
                                                                                     in South Africa. Phase 1 of the
                                                                                     development is nearing completion
                                                                                     and the next phase will be an
                                                                                     upmarket luxury hotel on Elephant
                                                                                     Point. Project finalisation is
                                                                                     in progress and the projected
                                                                                     opening date is 2020.
                                                                                        However, Legacy’s big project is
                                                                                     its Leonardo development in the
                                                                                     heart of Sandton, Johannesburg’s
                                                                                     business district.
                                                                                        “That’s in progress and rising
                                                                                     upwards rapidly,” says Legacy
                                                                                     Hotels Managing Director Paddy
                                                                                     Brearley. “This is a luxury mixed-
                                                                                     use development with shops, a
of the design and architectural         from what could have been very               swimming pool, restaurant and a
planning of the hotel.                  successful hotel developments,               2,880-metre penthouse for a mere
   “A common mistake, and one           because they did not see viable              R250-million ($18m) asking price
that I’ve seen frequently when          solutions to the project, “other             – urban lifestyle at its best!”
considering projects in Africa,         than demolishing the entire                     Brearley also has strong views
is poor planning of space,” says        building at whatever stage we                on the growing presence on the
Stehlik. “Food and beverage             found it and starting again – we             African continent of the world’s
is often a critical victim. Pool        have left owners dumb-founded                big international hotel groups.
bars, roof bars, restaurants            and desperate and elected to walk               “Africa needs growth in their
for breakfast, restaurants for          away. We’ve seen some of the best            economics and any additional
lunch, coffee shops, you name           locations in Africa destined for             investment by international hotel
it – multiple food and beverage         failure by inexperienced property            groups should be welcomed, as
facilities that will certainly result   developers.”                                 they hopefully bring new product
in a staffing, procurement and             Also looking to grow its                  and expertise to the region,” he
operational disaster.”                  portfolio is aha Hotels & Lodges,            says. “Also, for job creation and
   Stehlik notes that BON Hotels        and according to Rogers, the group           upliftment in poor areas, new
have often had to walk away             is busy with several opportunities           hotels will add many positives to

24 | JULY2018                                                                                    Visit
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