CAPE TOWN – Tsogo Sun has gained the lion's share of hotel accommodation in central Cape Town with the recent launch of two economy hotels.
Tsogo Sun operations manager John van Rooyen said the newly-built R700 million SunSquare and StayEasy hotels had brought the total number of rooms operated by Tsogo Sun in the city centre to over 2 000, spread across six hotels.
The select service three-star SunSquare has 202 bedrooms and the two-star StayEasy offers 302 bedrooms. These two hotels would fill a void in the hotel industry.
"There are so many five and four-star hotels in Cape Town and there was a specific gap in the market for three- and two-star hotels," Van Rooyen said in an exclusive interview with the African News Agency.
"It was that market gap that gave Tsogo Sun a reason to embark on these select services hotels on the corner of Buitengracht, Bree, and Strand streets. I must say, to date, the 504 rooms have been so well received by the domestic and international market. The hotel industry in this specific location has been boosted by the city centre rejuvenation over the past five to eight years. Tsogo Sun felt there were not great quality two- and three-star hotels in this locality.
"Bree Street has becomes so popular with its fancy restaurants and great pubs so that when people stay here they can then wine and dine there. Our patrons can walk to other parts of the city centre to other facilities, like the Waterfront, shopping centres, and the Cape Town Stadium. It will be very convenient when the World Rugby Sevens will be played at the stadium in December," he said.
For several years now, visiting sport teams has stayed mostly at Cape Town and Newlands hotels.
"We have found that most of the top teams prefer to stay in the city centre hotels. We've also seen that there’s still enough business for Newlands hotels because of the sporting business. Some of the Currie Cup teams stay there, as well as corporates and leisure businesses. It is quite attractive to stay there as well, so we haven’t found a massive decline in occupancy at Newlands," Van Rooyen said.
"Tsogo Sun is running at an average of 63% occupancy in Cape Town, but we know that the StayEasy will run at about 80% and the SunSquare at about 70%. It will be a big attraction to markets that come with international events like the Indaba. It will be extremely attractive in terms of locality, price, and quality. We offer large TV screens, a safe, a mini-bar, beautiful power showers, large beds, and great facilities, so we are very excited about this product."
Van Rooyen said other hotels in the company's Cape Town stable had unique attractions. "We have ring-fenced that business quite successfully. We have locked that business in with regard to the rates and the services. The new hotels are select service hotels and hence they do not have room service. The new hotels have a dial-and-collect service so you place your order on the phone. After that you physically go downstairs and collect your food," he said.
The new hotels had attracted interest from various quarters. "The interest has come from a variety of all segments. Air crew have shown an interest as have the government, international visitors, and leisure. We are looking forward to seeing what this hotel is going to be like when the people come from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, and other parts of Southern Africa later this year," Van Rooyen said.
– AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY