1) Please tell something about your organization and your key achievements & benefits you provide.
African Sun Limited, ‘African Sun’, is the fastest-growing hospitality group in sub-Saharan Africa. It currently has interests in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mozambique. Plans for operations in Equatorial Guinea, Botswana and Tanzania will shortly come to fruition.
Established in 1968, the company was part of what is now Delta Corporation, Zimbabwe’s leading beverage manufacturer. Under its then new name, Zimbabwe Sun Limited, and with a significant change in the ownership structure, it separated from Delta Corporation and, in turn, transferred title of its wholly-owned properties to Dawn Properties Limited, which was formed and listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in 2003 for that purpose. African Sun Limited, itself listed on the local exchange, retains an 18.96% equity stake in Dawn Properties, which owns nine of African Sun’s leased properties in Zimbabwe as well as a variety of other investments.To reflect its pan-African ambitions, the company changed its name from Zimbabwe Sun Limited to African Sun Limited in May 2008.
2) What can the international guest expect when they visit your property. What are your promises to them?
We exist to create wealth in a sustainable manner by anticipating and meeting the needs of our stakeholders, through the provision of seamless leisure services in our chosen markets.
3) How many properties do you manage? Do you manage your own properties or do you also take third party hotel management contracts?
Currently African Sun manages 20 properties across 4 countries.
4) How has economy downturn affected your business? What steps you are doing to protect your portfolio of hotels and quality of service to your guests?
All properties have been effected differently as not all our properties are for international consumption, but we are feels the effects of the credit crunch
5) What are the three most important considerations when you either build a new hotel or take an existing hotel for management?
We look for growth cities and countries with a relatively stable political environment, most of our new properties are city based.
6) Do you provide single online hotel reservation facility for your guests to book any of your hotels from single interface? If yes, what has been your guest experience & feedback with single reservation system?
We do have a single interface online booking engine within our website. further developments are taking place to offer a seamless interface between the hotel PMS and the online booking engine.
7) Are you using Wikipedia, Social Media Network & other Web2.0 tools to promote your hotels?
No not at this stage.
8) Do you believe travel reviews sites like Tripadvisor or Travelpost give a fair chance to hoteliers to voice their response? What can Govt. do to restrict the misuse of Tripadvisor or Travelpost?
All these sites are open to misuse but I do not think it is a government issue it is a environment issue and needs to be monitored by the online service provider.
9) What advertising & marketing method you use to reach out to guests? Which medium is the most effective medium?
We use a number of different types of media dependent on market segment and source market, the best we find at the moment is online marketing.
10) Are you using mobile Internet and mobile sms marketing?
No not at this stage.
11) What are the 3 main management practices that will help hotel owners to achieve greater success in their business?
Channel distribution, managing costs and looking after staff.