Some good news for the South African tourism and travel industry! Following the announcement by the US-based Marriott hotel chain that it will be closing three of the country’s most iconic hotels, Tsogo Sun has stepped forward to say it will be reopening them.
The announcement by Tsogo Sun was made on Saturday 20 June and means that the Mount Grace in Magaliesburg, the Edward in Durban and the Protea Hotel Hazyview in Mpumalanga will not become yet more economic victims of the pandemic.
TSOGO NOTED THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY’S DISTRESS
“Tsogo Sun Hotels has noted the announcement by Marriott that they have closed three hotels and are removing them from the Marriott system as a result of the impact of COVID-19,” Tsogo said.
“We have also noted the distress this has caused within the travel and tourism industry and the communities where these hotels are situated, as expressed on various social media platforms.”
REOPENING WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 18 MONTHS
However, the reopening will not occur immediately and the company predicts this will only happen in around 18 months – which is the expected timeframe for all Tsogo Sun’s properties to be fully operational again once the pandemic subsides.
“Several of our hotels have opened, but are operating on limited capacity and will remain so until demand patterns and flight activities in both the domestic and, ultimately, the international markets begin to normalise,” Tsogo Sun said.
“However, we continue to plan for a phased reactivation of properties, with the full portfolio expected to be open within 12 to 18 months and [we] will now include these three iconic properties in our planning.”
TSOGO HAS A CONTROLLING STAKE IN THE PROPERTIES
The reason that Tsogo Sun was able to respond so rapidly to the situation is that, via its subsidiary Hospitality Property Fund, Tsogo owns a controlling stake in the three hotels which Marriott is terminating its relationship with.
Marriott blamed the impact of COVID-19 for its decision to cease operations the three hotels. Marriott bought Protea Hotels in 2014 and owns a range of properties in South Africa, among them Crystal Towers in Cape Town and African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg.