AFRICA Sun Ltd (formerly Zimsun) is planning to open 15 new hotels in Africa in the next three years as the leisure group intensifies its regional expansion programme.
The company is already on the verge of concluding a deal that will see it adding three hotels to its portfolio in South Africa.
Businessdigest can reveal that the group will soon takeover three hotels in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Â The company has been operating The Grace in Rosebank since 2004.
By the end of the year Africa Sun will open a hotel in Nigeria in Kano region and a spar resort in Lagos is likely to start operating by the end of next month.
The Kano project will be in the form of a management contract.
Africa Sun chief executive, Shingi Munyeza said: “It’s not really a new drive. We started this regional project in 2004 but now we have intensified.”
By the end of this year Africa Sun will open a hotel in Tanzania (Arusha) and another in Zambia (Lusaka).
“By the end of next year we are looking at two new projects in South Africa, specifically in Rustenburg and Johannesburg,” said Munyeza.
There will be two more hotels in Botswana although the locations are still not clear.Â
The group is working on opening another hotel in Ghana and three more projects in Equatorial Guinea.
“There is a possibility of adding two more hotels in Nigeria by the end of 2009,” Munyeza said.
Munyeza said the projects
will be financed through partnerships.
The group will either buy into the real estate or offer its skills to come in as a management partner.
Munyeza said the plan was to spread the group’s risk across Africa.
“Our plan is that by the end of 2009 Zimbabwe will constitute 30% of our business with the rest being in Africa,” Munyeza said.
“By the end of this year there will be not less that 1000 rooms out of Zimbabwe.”
Africa Sun has a capacity of 2000 rooms in Zimbabwe. The company operated the Elephant Hills, Kingdom hotel (Victoria Falls) and Crown Plaza (Harare).
It also holds the Holiday Inn franchise in Zimbabwe under which it operates hotels in Mutare, Harare, Beitbridge, Bulawayo and Masvingo.
The group also operates resort lodges around the country.
A number of local companies have been aggressively pushing for opportunities in the region to hedge against Zimbabwe’s high risk profile.
Â By Shakeman MugariÂ