Carl­son to spend R1bn on ho­tels

CityPress - - Business And Tenders - PETER LUHANGA busi­ness@city­press.co.za

Carl­son Rezi­dor Ho­tel Group is plan­ning to spend more than R1 bil­lion on build­ing three new ho­tels in South Africa as it looks to cap­i­talise on the weak rand, which is boost­ing lo­cal tourism.

The group, which op­er­ates 1 370 ho­tels in more than 110 coun­tries, an­nounced this week it is build­ing three new ho­tels – one in Polok­wane and two in Cape Town – which will open early next year, ac­cord­ing to Marc De­scroza­ille, Carl­son Rezi­dor’s area vice-pres­i­dent for Africa and the In­dian Ocean.

The com­pany will also be open­ing a re­gional African of­fice in Cape Town.

The group op­er­ates the Radis­son Blu ho­tel brand, among a num­ber of other es­tab­lish­ments such as Park Inn by Radis­son, which is a mid-mar­ket of­fer­ing.

At the same time, Carl­son Rezi­dor said it was plan­ning to more than dou­ble its ho­tels in Africa from 31 to 66 over the next four years.

By 2020, the group is set to have more than 14 500 rooms in 27 African coun­tries.

These ex­tra ho­tels will cre­ate 3 500 jobs, in­clud­ing 400 in South Africa. About 310 po­si­tions will be cre­ated in Cape Town and 90 jobs in Polok­wane.

De­scroza­ille said that Carl­son Rezi­dor was tar­get­ing Africa as its key global in­vest­ment re­gion amid a sub-Sa­ha­ran growth rate of 3.5% last year, which is ex­pected to ac­cel­er­ate to 4.75% in 2017.

He said one of the ho­tels in Cape Town would be sit­u­ated at the Blu Tri­an­gle House build­ing in lower Long Street, and con­sist of 339 bed­rooms and apart­ments.

The other ho­tel will be built at the city’s Vic­to­ria & Al­fred (V&A) Water­front and be called the Radis­son Red, which is a new brand.

It will fea­ture 250 bed­rooms and suites, and is sched­uled to open in May next year.

“The Radis­son Red is go­ing to ap­peal to the younger gen­er­a­tion, or to peo­ple who think younger … fo­cus­ing on fash­ion, art and tech­nol­ogy,” said De­scroza­ille.

He added that the Polok­wane de­vel­op­ment would be sit­u­ated op­po­site the 2010 Fifa World Cup sta­dium and have 160 rooms.

“There is con­fi­dence that Cape Town is be­com­ing the leisure and tourism hope for Africa,” he said.

“That is why we have cho­sen to re­lo­cate our head­quar­ters for Africa from Dubai and Paris to the V&A Water­front.”

De­scroza­ille said when the rand weak­ened, it worked in the ho­tel group’s favour as South Africa be­came a more af­ford­able des­ti­na­tion for over­seas clients.

Apart from Carl­son Rezi­dor, ho­tel group Tsogo Sun is also open­ing two new ho­tels in Cape Town, com­pris­ing 500 bed­rooms and cost­ing R680 mil­lion.

Tsogo Sun CEO Mar­cel von Au­lock said they be­lieved the re­ju­ve­na­tion of Cape Town’s city cen­tre would lead to grow­ing de­mand for ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“The new ho­tels will con­sist of two prod­ucts in one com­plex: a 200-bed­room lat­est-de­sign SunSquare ho­tel, and a 300-bed­room new­gen­er­a­tion StayEasy ho­tel,” said Von Au­lock.

Rob Kucera, the chair­per­son of Fed­er­ated Hos­pi­tal­ity As­so­ci­a­tion of SA Cape, was op­ti­mistic about these de­vel­op­ments, say­ing the open­ing of the new ho­tels would boost Cape Town’s econ­omy.

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