African Hotels and Adventure explores East Africa for growth
African Hotels and Adventure (AHA), the tourism property management business of Tourvest‚s Accommodation and Activities (TAA) division, said today it intends to grow its portfolio of properties beyond the Southern African region into new African countries in order to take advantage of the growing number of leisure and business travellers to these areas.
AHA owns or manages a portfolio of properties marketed as lifestyle retreats, city hotels and lodges, which are located in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. In 2010, it developed the Elephant Camp Victoria Falls lodge, a low ecological impact camp on its concession in the Victoria Falls National Park; acquired the full management contract for the Chobe Marina Lodge in the north-eastern border of Botswana in 2011; and very recently acquired the full management contract for the Ghoha Hills Camp in Botswana‚s Chobe National Park, which is due to open to the public mid-June this year.
TAA chief executive Gary Elmes says the success of its Victoria Falls and Botswanan lodges has prompted Tourvest to look outside of Southern Africa for further growth opportunities. Our initial approach will be to look for properties in countries in which Tourvest already has a presence, either through its retail travel operations or its inbound tour operator division, or to complement Tourvest‚s activity-based business such as Drifters, which offers overland safari tours as far afield as Uganda and East Africa, he says. Tourvest is also the owner and operator of Lemala Luxury Camps in Kenya and Tanzania.
Elmes says the company has started looking at properties in Kenya, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Uganda and has entered into preliminary negotiations with a number of property owners. Elmes says Tourvest’s focus is not limited to lodges only and that it is also looking at owning or managing hotels in major African cities.
In order to manage the growth, we are looking for a managing director, who will be responsible for the current portfolio as well as its future expansion.
Elmes says AHA offers hotel owners a number of benefits including integrated support functions, access to the e-Res reservation tool which plugs into as many as 22 online channels including leading global travel distribution systems such as Galileo, Amadeus, Expedia.com, Booking.com as well as the properties‚ own online web booking engine and the large volumes of tourists sourced by the group‚s travel agency and tour operator businesses.