ANEW Hotels & Resorts is actively shopping for new acquisitions and property management opportunities to help to grow its footprint in South Africa even further, particularly in Durban and Cape Town.
CEO, Clinton Armour told Travel News’ sister publication, Tourism Update that the group was open to expansion beyond South Africa’s borders, but first, he said, the group planned to grow a “good, strong” footprint in South Africa.
He described the company’s ethos and his approach to hospitality as “humble, passionate and determined”.
Clinton was very open to building new relationships and discussions with business owners who believe they could benefit from ANEW’s buying power and network strength.
“We want to find the right partners to grow our brand. We would love to reach new opportunities. We have also said ‘no’ to various opportunities that have just not felt right.”
The group added the 11th property to its portfolio at the start of this year, the ANEW Centurion. ANEW Ocean Reef opened in December 2020, while other well-known brands in the group include the ANEW Hotel Hluhluwe and Safaris, and Anew Hotel Ingeli Forest and Spa.
A former Protea by Marriott property, ANEW Centurion will reopen in May after an extensive refurbishment. The upgrade is in collaboration with the Fieldspace Property Group.
Clinton said the revamped Centurion property was ideally positioned for corporate, government and intra-Africa leisure business. He said hotel groups could attract business from African markets with good room types, added value and rates for families, and said ANEW was an ideal choice of management partner for owners who wanted to work with a family-orientated and local company.
ANEW also has several good conferencing venues in its line-up, which Clinton suggested could be a growth opportunity in the future.
ANEW’s portfolio of hotels and resorts also attracts a good mix of international business although most properties are currently reliant on domestic business.
ANEW hopes that international source markets will recover this year and he expects an upturn in bookings from September and October.
Clinton said the hospitality sector had seen some degree of recovery toward the end of 2020, although January and February this year had been tough. The pace of recovery would depend on vaccine roll-outs and the reinstatement of flights, he said.
To ride out the pandemic, ANEW will also concentrate on strengthening its relationships with the trade, travel agencies and property owners.
He said the group’s staff, network of hotel owners and guests had all made a positive impact during COVID-19 and had helped the group to weather the worst of the pandemic.
Clinton urged his colleagues in the travel industry to continue to work together while the sector recovered.
“South Africa really does have so much going for it… If you have got the right product, you really can be passionate about it and sell it. South Africa has got it! [We should] link up so that we can get a good recovery going.”