THINC set to unpack future focus of Africa's hotel industry

2017-08-24 15:30 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - Hotel investment in South Africa is a booming business - as is the hotel industry - with South African tourism reporting that foreign visitors for 2016 increased by some 12.8% and actual bednights increased by 9% when compared to 2015.

Which makes the conversations taking place at THINC Africa, the Tourism Hotel Investment and Networking Conference coming up on 30-31 August so vital.

CEO of South African Tourism, Sisa Ntshona, will be speaking at the event with a key focus being placed on how all invested parties in this industry can work together. Also on the speaker line-up will be DA MP responsible for Tourism, James Vos.

SEE: SA 'outperforms Thailand and Australia' as domestic tourism still lags

Traveller24 will be attending the event and will be looking to unpack what the top industry players in the global hotel industry are doing in Africa.

Currently tourism contributes an estimated 4.2% per year to SA’s GDP and is expected to rise to 11.5% of GDP at R624.2bn in 2027 - which makes what the hotel industry is doing an integral part of the offering.

SEE: New R3bn SA hotels: Massive Marriott loyalty deals to benefit travellers

“Tourism is the industry that can pull the South African economy out of recession,” says Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS South Africa. "However, this will only work if all the invested parties work together.”

“We invite all hotel investors, hotel brands, and management companies, real estate developers, investment bankers and lenders, fund representatives as well as public and private hotel, tourism and convention agencies to come and THINC Africa with us,” says Smith. 

Sub-Saharan Africa growth

In addition to focusing on SA’s growth, tourism to sub-Saharan Africa is also said to be showing strong growth with Mozambique in particular benefiting from the boost in numbers.

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was MZN68.1bn (USD1.1bn), 9.3% of GDP in 2016, and is forecast to rise by 4.7% in 2017, and to rise by 5.5% pa to MZN121.7bn (USD1.9bn), 7.7% of GDP in 2027, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2017 Economic Impact report on Mozambique.

With attendees also being able to attend the  THINC Africa specialist round table on Mozambique.

SEE: #AfriTravel: Here's what a R34m Mozambique island adventure entails

“Mozambique has had an incredibly tough time in recent years but is now waking up and readying itself for a big upturn in business over the next few years.  It has some amazing beaches and a warm sea, which combined with growing commercial activities means it is becoming one of the most exciting African markets,” says Tim Smith, managing partner at HVS South Africa, hosts of the THINC Africa conference.

Mozambique instituted visas on arrival earlier this year and according to Abdulla Momade, head of investment at INATUR, the Mozambique Tourism Authority, this has increased the number of visa requests compared with previous years.

SEE: New R700m dual-brand hotel on track to redefine Cape Town's budget stay offering

Momade, who is one of the specialist experts hosting the THINC Africa Mozambique Round Table, says that the Mozambique government has approved a regulation this year to facilitate the granting of entry visas to foreign nationals engaged in investment activities, thus contributing to improving the business climate. The approved document reduces the minimum amount to grant the Investment Activity visa from US50 million to US$500,000.

Alternative hotels

With the rise of the sharing economy and collaborative consumption, concepts such as shared-holiday ownership, aggregators, Airbnb and hybrid hotels are very much part of the tourism landscape across Africa.

As part of the discussions taking place at THINC  a panel session on the theme of ‘Alternative Hotels’ will also be taking place.

SEE: REDvolution: A new millennial-centric hotel set to open in Cape Town

“It is a sign of the growing maturity of the hotel market in Africa generally and an indication that developers and hoteliers are keen to attract all sectors of the market. Africa is moving away from the dependence on wealthy middle class European and US travellers, to a much more diverse and sustainable mix,” says Smith

Dimitris Manikis, VP of business development, RCI Europe, Middle East, and Africa and shared ownership industry veteran, will moderate the Alternative Hotels panel.

SEE: Sharing Economy debate: Is Airbnb really intimidating the hotel industry?

Manikis says RCI has seen a continual increase in the numbers of developers coming into the market globally, including? an increasing number of established hospitality brands, and has affiliated more than 100 new properties around the world to its exchange programme each year, for the last five years.

“As one of the world’s key markets in the shared-holiday ownership industry, South Africa reflects the sustained success of the international time-share industry, and offers much opportunity for new developers,” he says.

What you need to know:

When: 30-31 August

Where:  FNB Portside Building, V&A Waterfront,  

Click here for full details and to register    

Other speakers at the 2017 THINC Africa:

The line-up includes Andrew McLachlan, senior Vice President Business Development for Africa and Indian Ocean at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Michael Collini, Vice President Development Sub Saharan Africa at Hilton; and Paul Ansah, Vice President International Hotel Development, Marriott International are some of the heavy-hitters from the global hotel brands who will be sharing their experiences and expertise. 

Top local speakers who’ll be sharing insights from their hugely successful home-grown brands include Sisa Ngebulana, CEO of Rebosis and Billion Group, Adrian Gardiner, Chairman of the Mantis Collection, Neil Bald, MD of AHA Hotels, Guy Stehlik, founder and CEO of BON Hotels and Neil Markovitz, MD of Newmark Hotels. 

What to read next on Traveller24:

SA hotels risk being cut adrift in new digital economy - survey

- Tourism as an economic driver: Here’s what Africa should be doing

New hospitality data grading to raise the benchmark of SA's tourism offering

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