Fri, 21 Jun 2019
Hilton Hotels & Resorts sees big opportunities for growth in Africa and South Africa, and is aiming for 100 hotels on the continent by 2025 and 10 hotels in South Africa by the same time.
“Africa is truly the continent of opportunities,” Jan Van Der Putten, Hilton vice-president of operations for Africa and the Indian Ocean, said during an interview.
Right now Hilton has four hotels in South Africa – two in Cape Town, one in Durban and one in Sandton in Johannesburg.
At the same time, Hilton is constructing another hotel in Cape Town and one in Durban.
“We are getting up to six and looking for quite a few more in the years to come,” Van Der Putten said.
Across the whole of Africa, Hilton has 44 hotels and another 56 are under construction and development. These new hotels were likely to cost more than $1 billion, he said.
Hilton opened hotels in two new countries in Africa this year – Botswana and eSwatini.
A 2018 report by Lagos-based company W Hospitality Group, which provides advisory services to the hotel, tourism and leisure industries, said that South Africa had 37 hotels under construction, which would add 4 311 rooms.
“The chains with the most reported activity in South Africa include Marriott International, Mantis Group and aha Hotels & Lodges,” the W Hospitality Groupreport said.
It showed that in 2018, throughout Africa, there were 418 hotels under development that would create more than 76 000 rooms.
“Marriott International [Hilton’s major competitor] once again leads the hotel chain development pipeline in terms of number of rooms and number of hotels,” W Hospitality Group reported.
The report said that Marriott was developing 93 new hotels in Africa that would add more than 17 700 rooms.
Van Der Putten said that Hilton was building the new hotel in Cape Town with Growthpoint Properties at a cost of between R450 million and R500 million.
The cost of the Durban hotel is a “little bit less than that” and is being built in Umhlanga Ridge to the north of Durban.
“We are looking for more opportunities in the bigger cities… But, also, secondary cities in South Africa have opportunities.”
Some of the places where Hilton is looking at building further hotels include Sandton and the broader Johannesburg area, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria.
“We are also looking at the smaller places in the provinces. Polokwane and Nelspruit would be considerations. Port Elizabeth – you would definitely look at. It also has to be where an investor or property investor is going.
“The confidence in the hotel business has come back. After the 2010 World Cup it was difficult with all the new hotels that had come on stream. Step by step the capacity is being used. Investors are becoming more interested in looking at new hotels.”
Hilton opened its first hotel in South Africa in late 1997. Across its four South African hotels, the hospitality company employs 1 250 people.
Regarding the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the state of the local economy, Van Der Putten said that South Africa deserves good leadership.
“I think [...]