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Hica / Category: Press Releases

Dear Past HICA Delegates and Sponsors

Nine years ago, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), with the support of leading businesses in the local and international hospitality industry introduced and hosted the inaugural Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Cape Town. The year was 2007, which marked the beginning of an exciting and enriching journey of organising and hosting the HICA conference.When we introduced HICA, our aim was to profile and showcase sub Saharan Africa as a viable destination for hospitality investment. We also had the objective of connecting industry leaders with emerging entrepreneurs, to share knowledge; and to celebrate African hospitality leadership while developing new ones.Today, the conference we fondly refer to as “HICA” has helped to bring additional events of its kind in the continent thereby helping the hospitality development and investment community to capitalise on this fast developing sector. The number of investors, bankers, operators, developers, senior executives, local and regional government authorities who have attended the conference over the years in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg bear testimony to the overwhelming popularity of the conference across the Continent.

It is against this backdrop that we wish to advise you about the changes in the management and hosting of the conference. Having managed the conference for the past years, we believe that HICA has matured to a stage where it is timely to bring on-board new partners who can take the conference to even greater heights.

To allow for a smooth transition and afford the new managers the time to take over and deliver the conference in the standard you are accustomed to, we wish to advise that there will be no HICA conference in 2016. The new conveners of HICA are already hard at work making preparations to deliver an improved and enriching HICA. They will introduce themselves to you as past delegates and partners in due course, and also announce the new date and venue for the conference.

On behalf of our past partners, the Advisory Board and distinguished panelists over the years, we thank you for your sterling support. We hope that you will support the conference when it returns under management and convenors. After all, it is with your support that HICA grew in the past and will continue to grow in the future to contribute towards connecting investors, developers, financiers and operators to develop the hospitality industry in Sub Saharan Africa.

Once again, we thank you greatly for your support and counsel.

Kindest regards always.

Ms Mmatšatši Ramawela
HICA Convenor and TBCSA CEO
Tourism Business Council of South Africa

The establishment of a mega casino at Menlyn is going full steam ahead after the final obstacle against the R3 billion project was removed.

In a surprise agreement reached between Sun International and the Goldrush Group, a Gauteng North High Court application to halt the building of the casino in the east of Pretoria, has been withdrawn.

Sun International earlier successfully applied to the Gauteng Gambling Board to relocate its Morula casino licence from its current site in Mabopane to Menlyn – a move initially opposed by several community organisations, churches, schools and also Goldrush.

Goldrush, which has bingo operations at among other venues, Atterbury Value Mart, the Kollonade centre and in Centurion, initially challenged the relocation of Morula casino to Menlyn.

Court action by the community to halt the relocation of the casino had already proved unsuccessful and a challenge by the Peermont Group had also been settled earlier so the Goldrush suit was the final obstacle against the move.

Sun International has however now informed shareholders that the court action by Goldrush has been withdrawn.

“Sun International is pleased to advise shareholders that the last remaining objection relating to the proposed relocation of its Morula casino licence has been withdrawn,” the gaming giant announced.”

“Sun International and Goldrush have entered into a settlement agreement.”

As part of the settlement, Goldrush would apply to relocate one of its bingo licences to the Morula site and commence operations thereon once the existing casino licence has been relocated, it was stated.

Although Goldrush did not comment, it is believed that the bingo operator had not yet decided which of its operations would be moved to Mabopane.

The group was however excited about having access to the Morula venue as it was “perfect for our type of gaming”, a source who asked not to be identified, told Rekord.

The detailed plans and costing for Sun International’s proposed new development at Menlyn Maine were close to being finalised and Sun International was confident that without any further impediments to the development and construction, the target opening date of September 2017 will be achieved, Sun International informed shareholders.

Construction of the massive entertainment complex in Menlyn Maine has started already.

Sun International spokesman Michael Farr said the company expected that in addition to significant job creation, the development would also generate considerably more revenue for both the provincial and the national governments in taxes and gaming levies.

“It is anticipated that some R1.7 billion in gaming taxes and VAT would be generated in the first five years of operation at Menlyn Maine and the total estimated revenue to the government from the project over a five year period is estimated at R2.7 billion.

“The benefit for Tshwane is immense. It will gain a new integrated entertainment destination, one that will become an icon for the city and complement its development and growth objectives,” Farr said.”

He added that the multiplier effect of the R3 billion investment far exceeded the impact generated by the current Morula casino licence, and Sun International expected the project to deliver cumulative contribution to GDP of as much as R19 billion during construction and over the first five years of operation.

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Article source: PretoriaEastRekord

Starwood may be close to finding its elusive strategic alternative: CNBC reports that Hyatt Hotels is in advanced talks to acquire the larger Starwood Hotels, although no formal offer has yet been made.

CNBC says a formal offer could come in a week or two.

Hyatt’s interest in acquiring Starwood, which owns brands ranging from Westin and Sheraton to St. Regis, follows a Wall Street Journal story yesterday that three Chinese companies are separately actively pursuing a Starwood acquisition.

CNBC says a Hyatt acquisition of Starwood would be a cash and stock deal with an acquisition price as yet unknown.

Both Starwood and Hyatt, which is controlled by the Pritzker family, are public companies. CNBC reports that Hyatt’s management team would be in charge of the combined company.

Hyatt’s entry into the Starwood sweepstakes comes as a surprise since Hyatt, with a market cap of $7.46 billion today, is a much smaller chain than Starwood, which boasts a $13.58 billion market cap.

Starwood announced in April that it would be mulling strategic alternatives, having earlier seen the surprise resignation of CEO Frits van Paasschen. InterContinental Hotels Group had earlier been involved in discussions with Starwood but IHG announced weeks ago that it was dropping out.

Article source : Skift

In South Africa, the Tsogo Sun hotel brand has a solid presence in both urban hubs and in more rural areas, and is reportedly the largest listed hotel and tourism company in South Africa. The company’s portfolio covers more than 90 hotels in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, the UAE and the Seychelles. Perhaps most significantly, Tsogo Sun both owns and operates almost all of its hotels, keeping the business firmly in-house, as Belinda Pedersen, the company’s general manager of international sales, told Hotel Management.

In April, Tsogo Sun reached an agreement with the owners of the site of Cape Town’s former Tulip hotel for the construction of a three-star, 500-room hotel complex at a total investment of R680 million. The new hotel will consist of two products in one complex, a 200-room SunSquare hotel and a 300-room StayEasy hotel. The project is expected to be completed by September 2017. Pedersen indicated that a five-star Cape Town hotel might be in the works, but the details had not yet been confirmed. In Johannesburg’s Fourways neighborhood, Tsogo Sun is also planning to open another three- or four-star hotel.

Investing in African hotels for African travelers
Tsogo Sun’s midscale brands seem to be attracting the most business, Pedersen said. “The three-star hotels are doing phenomenal,” she claimed, noting that they frequently attract the domestic market. “Our four-star brand is also very superior, and I think that’s where our strongest segment has been since inception of Tsogo Sun. Three- and four-star hotels are probably our biggest focus at the moment. That’s where the most investment will go.”

In terms of investment, Pedersen said, “millions and millions” of rand have “gone back” into the company’s hotels for refurbishment and expansions. The Sandton Sun hotel is under going a R250 million renovation, and the the Cullinan and the Southern Sun Waterfront have emerged from refurbishment. A hotel in Kruger National Park, the Sabi River Sun, just had 12 million in refurbishment. “A lot of money has gone back into the properties, which is very encouraging,” Pedersen said. (So many properties are undergoing renovations that the company has a list on its website of refurbishments in progress.)

Financial strength and international partnerships
According to Tsogo Sun’s Chairman’s and Chief Executive Officer’s review from August, the company’s most recent fiscal year saw a downturn due to the overall recession affecting Southern Africa in the wake of last year’s ebola scare. A deal to acquire a 40 percent stake in the GrandWest and Worcester casinos in the Cape province was cancelled in July 2015 “as it became clear that we would be unable to conclude the regulatory process before the deadline for the transaction,” Chairman John Copelyn said in the review statement. “Enhancing the group’s presence in the Western Cape gaming market remains an opportunity going forward.”

But Copelyn expects that the 2016 financial year should reflect better growth. The group is considering creating an entertainment and hospitality focused REIT into which it would transfer its owned hotel, retail and office property portfolio. Shareholder Hosken Consolidated Investments has a concentrated holding of 47.6 percent following the share buy-back from SABMiller’s 2014 exit, which also resulted in a broadening of the shareholder base. “In addition, the introduction of the HNA group out of China as the largest buyer in the SABMiller share sale is expected to open new opportunities to the group in the future,” Copelyn said in the statement.

But apart from HNA’s investment—which Pederson estimates at about 5 percent of Tsogo Sun’s shares—the company is not looking to partner internationally. “Tsogo Sun is very rich in equity at the moment,” she said, citing income from the company’s casino holdings, “so they haven’t looked at bringing in external partners at this stage.” Tsogo Sun recently invested in a European company, she noted, but is not planning to own or operate any hotels in Europe.

By focusing on Africa, she added, and both owning and operating between 80 and 90 percent of their properties, the company has remained truly African. “Everything flows into one,” she said. “We’ve got one team that oversees all properties. Everything is under one umbrella.”

Article source: HotelManagement

Johannesburg, South Africa, 09 September 2015: It’s all systems go for sub-Saharan Africa’s premier hospitality investment conference, the 2015 Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (“HICA”), which kicked-off this morning at the Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg.

HICA is a business-to-business networking platform, which gathers leading hospitality professionals from across the sub-Saharan Africa region, along with international hoteliers, investors, hotel developers, operators, senior public sector leaders and officials. The aim of the conference is to provide a platform where the industry leaders can debate and engage on investment and developmental issues within the hotel, resort, mixed-use, real estate and tourism industries.

The conference is hosted by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (“TBCSA”) in partnership with Pam Golding Hospitality, AfriHIC Events Company and Hospitality Investment Partners Africa, with the support of lead sponsors, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels.

Proceedings have already begun with an official welcome and opening remarks by HICA Conference Chair and TBCSA CEO, Mmatšatši Ramawela. This was followed by a presentations on Africa’s perspective of the global economy by renowned independent political analyst, Daniel Silke. Currently, the delegates are tuned in to a presentation on regional and global hotel performance by the global CEO of commercial real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle, Mark Wynne-Smith.

“Whilst the theme of this year’s conference theme is centred on around the concept of achieving growth through partnership, we’ve opted to open the conference with two insightful discussions around the industry performance and the state of the global economy. These are two crucial issues, given the volatile state of the global economic environment right now”.

Other notable sessions on to come include: a plenary session on mitigating risk in Africa’s hotel development and operational cycle; a discussion focussed on transacting and conducting business in Africa, moderated by author and Africa business specialist, Victor Kgomoeswana; As well as a session focussed on the investment opportunities in East Africa – one of the continent’s biggest and fastest growing regional economies.

  • Speakers participating in the above-mentioned sessions as panel members include:
  • Raphael Kuuchi, Vice-President of the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”)
  • Wivine Mumba Matipa, Director-General of the National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI), from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Adrian Gardiner, CEO and Founder of The Mantis Collection, which owns and manages hotel properties in different parts of the world

Today’s programme also features sector-specific sessions that cover topical issues ranging from skills development in the session titled ‘Balancing Human Resources Development in the Growth Model’, ‘Social Media as the Front-Line of Marketing’ and ever-topical issue of ‘Management Contracts and Lease Agreements’.

“All in all, we have put together a ‘jam-packed’ programme, not only for today but the next two days as well”. Ramawela said.

Walk-ins and late registrations are being processed onsite, at the conference venue. For more details about the conference programme, details about the different sessions or to view the profiles of the speakers, visit www.hica.co.za. Follow the conversations through the HICA Twitter handle @hica07, using #hica2015 or through the HICA 2015 Facebook page.

In addition to the lead sponsors, HICA 2015 is hosted with the support and sponsorship of the following organisations: South African Tourism (networking lunch sponsor); RateGain Travel Technologies (networking refreshments sponsor)’ Gigima (technology); Four Seasons, The Westcliff Hotel, IDC, Connecting Travel and Hotel Facility Concepts (social events sponsors); HNN, Channel Africa and Africa.com (media partners)

mmatsatsi-ramawela           daniel-silke