South Africa ‘must re-double trade and tourism efforts’

IATA study highlights aviation’s impact on jobs and economy


IATA Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa Muhammad Ali Albakri says efforts must be “re-doubled” to promote South Africa as a destination open to trade and tourism.

Albakri’s comments come following an IATA study that highlighted the immense value of the air transport industry in South Africa.

Aviation supports some 490,000 jobs in the country, including tourism-related employment.

Affordable, safe and reliable air transport is crucial to economic growth

The sector also contributes $US12 billion to South Africa’s GDP—the equivalent of 3.5% of total GDP.

“The study confirms the vital role of air transport in facilitating over US$110 billion in exports, some US$140 billion in foreign direct investment and around US$9.2 billion in inbound leisure and business tourism for South Africa,” Alkbari said.

“Now with the country in recession it’s time to re-double efforts to promote South Africa as a destination for business, trade and tourism.”

Executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum rated South Africa’s status regarding three key areas for the air transport industry.

Thirty-seven African countries in all were rated, out of these South Africa ranked:

• 1st for infrastructure

• 19th for visa openness

• 17th for cost competitiveness

Alkbari has urged the South African government to recognize the benefits of aviation, and remove barriers affecting air connectivity and trade.

We urge the South African government to remove any impediments

“Affordable, safe and reliable air transport is crucial to economic growth,” he added.

“It promotes skills development and is a catalyst for jobs. We urge the South African government to remove any impediments, including unnecessary red-tape and policies that hinder air connectivity and the trade, investment, tourism and job opportunities it facilitates and stimulates.”

THINC Africa 2017: Exciting future for African hotel market

According to the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO), the African continent experienced an increase of 8.1%, while Western European destinations showed little to no tourism growth in 2016. Visitor totals in Sub-Saharan Africa grew more than 10% year-over-year – the most of any world region or sub-region.
Managing Partner of HVS in South Africa, Tim Smith believes there is ongoing demand for local knowledge and expertise from prospective investors, which prompted HVS to hold their Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference, THINC Africa for the first time last year. Following the success of the inaugural conference, the second conference will take place on 30- 31 August 2017 at the FNB Portside Building, situated in Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront precinct.

“The conference is run by hotel consultants with a deep passion for the industry, for the benefit of the industry,” said Smith. The THINC conferences are held in various regions around the globe and are aimed at 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.

Evolution of the African hotel market

According to the latest HVS African Hotel Market Update, 2016 was a positive year for the African hotel market, tempered by external factors such as UK voters opting for Brexit and the US voting for Donald Trump as their president, both of which will have far-reaching ramifications for global markets, including those on the African continent.

“The evolution of the hotel market across Africa continues with some of the largest international brands announcing they were opening hotels in new countries. For example, Marriott and Rezidor launched large hotels in Kigali, Rwanda. Rezidor also opened a Radisson hotel and convention centre in Togo and announced it was developing five Park Inn hotels in Angola,” Smith points out. “Meanwhile, after the merger with Starwood, Marriott will be opening their first hotel in West Africa, the Sheraton Grand in Conakry Guinea.

The more established markets continue to be popular with Hilton announcing a new Hilton in Upper Hill, Nairobi – the 255-room hotel is set to be the tallest in Nairobi. Hilton also reported it would build the first modular construction hotel in Africa, the 280-room Hilton Garden Inn in Accra, and said it planned a 350-room Hilton at Lagos International airport.

Meanwhile, Accor is progressing with their impressive partnership for 50 hotels in Angola and have just announced three new hotels in Ethiopia” he said.

Positive trends present an exciting future

Smith says 2017 is sure to see more exciting announcements and if commodity prices continue to recover, some of the larger and more influential countries may enjoy economic growth, which in turn should further promote hotel development. “There will be ‘bumps in the road’ but positive trends present an exciting future for operators and investors,” he said.

The tremendous potential for growth in South Africa and the Southern African region is attracting regional and global investors, lenders, developers and operators from the hotel and tourism industries.

THINC Africa going from strength to strength

“Last year’s conference speakers included 30 MDs, CEOs and equivalent senior executives as well as Wesgro CEO Tim Harris and James Vos, MP Shadow Minister of Tourism. The feedback from attendees was extremely positive. 80% thought our speakers were excellent and 93% said it offered excellent networking opportunities,” said Smith.

Smith says the conference is going from strength to strength and is expecting 200 delegates, up from last year’s 160. The focus will remain on hotel investment with sessions on issues affecting owners and operators. Speakers will be senior people in the industry with experience in Africa generally. A new addition to the programme will be sessions focused exclusively on particular countries and one-on-one interviews with business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“We want to ensure that all delegates leave having been challenged and learned something. We have already secured a stellar line-up of speakers and sponsors” Smith said. “We will be encouraging audience participation so individuals can have their questions and issues is addressed. The instructions to speakers will be ‘don’t be boring or say something that can be Googled – people want opinions’.”

HVS – Evaluating Hospitality-Focused Mixed-Use Assets

Americans continue to “rediscover” urban areas, they not only seek-out these areas as places to live but also as places to stay when they travel. These walkable neighborhoods offer residents and visitors ready access to civic, economic, and social nodes, to which local hotels can provide access for guests. This results in demand from more segments of hotel guests than if the hotel were located near a single demand driver.

Additionally, hotels in these areas are often less susceptible to new competition due to the higher barriers to entry in more urban markets. These barriers include fewer development sites (and therefore more expensive land), more restrictive zoning, and restrictions put in place by historic preservation boards. These constraints often necessitate adaptive reuse of existing structures and the construction of structured parking (or leasing arrangements with nearby properties that have a surplus of parking).

In addition to structured parking, these assets may derive income from first-floor retail space or apartments that share the upper floors of the building with the hotel. By their very nature, each mixed-use property is unique. Therefore, HVS professionals consider a variety of factors when providing consulting or valuation services for these types of assets.

As with any type of real estate, a determination of highest and best use is critical to the analysis of a mixed-use asset. However, while the highest and best use of a greenfield site in a suburban area is often quite obvious, the possibilities for an urban site are often more varied. Furthermore, an urban site or building could have environmental issues that are less common with suburban sites.

Another critical question when analyzing mixed-use assets is what type of person or entity would be interested in purchasing the property. Does the asset possess a combination of uses that effectively hedge against one another? Or are the asset’s uses so varied that there would be few buyers with the expertise and energy to manage such disparate income sources? Additionally, would the asset still appeal to traditional hotel investors, or are there so many other revenue streams that it no longer meets their investment criteria?

Finally, the appraiser must determine if the various sources of income could be split off and sold separately, and if doing so would result in a higher value than selling the entire property to a single buyer. The answers to these questions can affect the asset’s marketing and exposure times, as well as the yield rate.

After determining the most likely buyer of a mixed-use asset, the next step is to determine how that buyer would evaluate each of the asset’s income streams. For retail and office components, for example, it will be necessary to project market rents, occupancy rates, lease terms, escalations, and tenant improvement allowances. For properties with multi-family components, prevailing market rents or sale prices must be considered. Additionally, the appraiser must determine whether the residential units will be available to hotel guests via a rental pool. Operating expenses and/or selling expenses must also be evaluated.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to combine the income projections for the various components into a single consolidated income projection for the entire property. In other cases, the income projections are not combined because it was determined in the highest and best use that the various components would have more value if sold separately than if they were sold as one property. Furthermore, if a mixed-use property has condominium units, that income projection cannot be combined with the hotel’s income projection because the condominium income will diminish over time while the hotel’s income will continue over the economic life of the property.

After projecting the various income streams for a mixed-use asset, the appraiser must select a discount rate with which to discount those income streams to a present value. The selected discount rate must be consistent with the return expectations of the asset’s most likely buyer (as determined in the highest and best use).

In a case where the non-hospitality income is minimal, it may be appropriate to discount the ancillary income at the same rate as the hotel. However, in situations where the non-hospitality income is more substantial, it may be necessary to analyze the prevailing yield rates for each particular income stream. Additionally, if it was determined in the highest and best use that the asset’s unique characteristics severely limit the pool of potential buyers, investors or buyers may demand a higher yield rate to compensate them for the additional resources necessary to effectively manage the asset.

HVS is known for unparalleled expertise in hospitality valuation and consulting. However, we also have professionals with extensive experience in the valuation of other asset types, which we can leverage to value non-traditional hospitality assets. Hence, we encourage lenders, developers, and other stakeholders to take advantage of HVS expertise as they explore the opportunities in owning and developing mixed-use hospitality-focused assets.

Carlson Rezidor continues to lead Africa’s hotel pipeline

Carlson Rezidor, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups worldwide with over 1,400 hotels in 115 countries, is accelerating its growth strategy in Africa. The group has opened five Radisson Blu hotels in the first six months of 2016 and signed four new hotels including the first Quorvus Collection in Africa. The group is also entering its 28th country in Africa and taking the Park Inn by Radisson brand to the Indian Ocean islands.

In 2016, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group opened five Radisson Blu properties serving the upper-upscale segment: Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi Upper Hill in Kenya (271 rooms); Radisson Blu Hotel, Marrakech Carré Eden in Morocco (198 rooms); Radisson Blu Residence with 187 luxury hotel apartments in Maputo, Mozambique (the group’s first residence concept in Africa); Radisson Blu Hotel Abidjan Airport, Ivory Coast (261 rooms) and Radisson Blu Hotel 2 Février in Lomé (320 rooms), host of the first Africa Hotel Investment Forum in West Africa in Togo.

Speaking at the opening of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, Wolfgang M. Neumann, President and CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group said, “Africa is Rezidor’s biggest growth market. Our group’s total portfolio comprises 69 hotels in 28 countries, with over 15,000 rooms in operation or under development. Radisson Blu leads the way with more hotel rooms under development than any of the other 85+ hotel brands active in Africa today. Our ambition is to be the leading player in the travel and tourism sector across the continent.”

Carlson Rezidor also announces the signing of its first Quorvus Collection in Africa: the 5-star, 244-room luxury Emerald Grand Hotel & Spa in Lagos, Nigeria. The group also signed a new Radisson Blu Hotel Harare in Zimbabwe (245 rooms), a Radisson Blu Hotel in Durban Umhlanga (207 rooms) and a Park Inn by Radisson in Quatre Bornes, the new commercial hub of Mauritius.

Rezidor’s Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Elie Younes added: “In the last 24 months, we have signed a new hotel deal in Africa every 37 days. And it’s not just about signing hotels; we are delivering our pipeline. We have opened a hotel in Africa every 60 days. In South Africa alone, we now have 14 hotels. In 2016 and beyond, we aim to maintain this great momentum by opening four more hotels in the second half of 2016.”

Hosted by the Government of Togo, Africa Hotel Investment Forum will focus on hotel development and finance in Africa. How to drive tourism and attract more than just the business traveler. The event connects hotel developers, hotel owners, hotel groups, banks, equity funds, property funds, hotel consultants, advisors and hotel professionals from the international and local markets, driving investment into hotel projects across Africa.

“The African continent is a powerhouse of exponential growth of the hotel industry”, said Elie Younes. “Rapid urbanization and economic growth, combined with favorable demographics, has resulted in a shortage of quality internationally branded hotels. This means there are huge opportunities for sustainable and quality growth for world-class international hotel operators like Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.”

23 JUNE 2016

In Focus: South African Hotel Market Update

This is the first in a planned series of HVS articles on the South African Hotel Industry.

Should you require any further information please get in touch with us directly.

Snap Survey – Spatial Planning And Land Use Management Draft Bill of 2011

The Constitutional Court will make a final ruling on the Development Facilitation Act in June 2012, which could result in this Act being repealed. This could mean that Development Tribunals would no longer be able to make decisions on land development applications. In the absence of the DFA, the Spatial Planning And Land Use Management Act would have to have been put in place. Should the new Act not be in place by then, development applications would then have to be made in terms of the legacy Townships Ordinances.