Global hospitality conglomerate Radisson Hotel Group is set to open a further two hotels in South Africa that will be located near Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and the King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
The announcement, made on Tuesday, is part of the group’s ongoing aggressive expansion plans in Africa and comes despite the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism and hospitality industry.
Radisson revealed in a statement that the two new hotel projects are part of six new properties that will be added to its African portfolio over the next few years. The others will be in the Nigeria capital of Abuja, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Accra in Ghana, and Bamako in Mali.
The latest additions to its development pipeline mean the group has almost 100 hotels in operation and under development across 32 countries in Africa.
It has a strong presence in South Africa, currently operating 11 hotels in Cape Town, Sandton, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane. The two new deals mean Radisson now has five hotel projects under development in the country – two respectively in Durban and Johannesburg, and one in Hoedspruit outside the Kruger National Park in Limpopo.
Radisson Hotel Group executive vice president and chief development officer Elie Younes said the new hotels further demonstrate the group’s commitment to the continent.
“We believe in the vast potential of Africa,” he said.
“The addition of the six hotels, following the announcement of Radisson Hotel Saint Denis [in Reunion Island] earlier this year places us firmly on track to reach over 150 hotels in operation and under development across the continent within the next five years.
“The new hotel announcements include our debut in new markets, the introduction of additional brands and the strengthening of our presence in cities we’ve identified for scaled growth,” added Younes.
Radisson did not reveal the developers and investors, nor the price tag for the two projects, but the investments are likely to total more than R600 million considering the size of the Johannesburg and Durban developments.
The new Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre near OR Tambo will have 289 rooms and a 1 260-seater auditorium along with other hospitality offerings. Located on a private estate in Bredell, Kempton Park, the hotel will open before the end of this year and is approximately 10 minutes’ drive from the airport.
In Durban, the group will operate its Park Inn by Radisson brand at the Dube City mixed-use development precinct adjacent to King Shaka International. The 168-room hotel is scheduled to open in 2022 and represents a major milestone for the broader Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone (SEZ) aerotropolis mega-project.
It is the first hotel within SEZ, which forms the heart of the first purpose-planned aerotropolis in Africa, around King Shaka, Radisson noted in its statement.
Contacted by Moneyweb for comment, Dube TradePort CEO Hamish Erskine said it had been “engaging with Radisson Hotel Group for several years” to ensure that a globally recognised hotel operator would run the first hotel at Dube City.
“It’s fantastic that Radisson will effectively be running its first hotel within an airport precinct in South Africa at Dube TradePort. It has been a long time coming.
“Despite the impact of Covid-19 on the hotel sector and the airline industry, we believe the new hotel will be successful as it will open in 2022, when hopefully tourism will be in recovery mode,” he said.
Erskine also could not reveal the investor in the hotel development, but noted that it is being led by a private BEE consortium.
He said it is part of a broader R500 million mixed-use block being developed next to Dube TradePort’s head office at the site. “Different developers are involved, but the site will include the hotel, office space and some retail. It will cover around 28 000m2 and is atop a super-basement.”