The hotel industry in South Africa has remained vibrant despite economic uncertainty and the sector is predicted to carry on growing over the next few years with tourists coming from
Despite the long hours and hard work that is needed to be successful in this sector, it can be an incredibly rewarding business to get into and the returns can be very attractive.
Facts and figures
- In 2015, the visa requirements for South Africa were amended and tourism numbers were able to increase as a result.
- There have been a growing number of visitors from China and India to the country.
- The largest number of South Africa’s foreign visitors in 2016 came from Zimbabwe
The hospitality industry has a wide range of potential customers and many hotels are offering a range of rooms at different prices so that they can cater to various guests.
Another way to approach this is to cater experiences to the level that customers are willing to pay for.
You can draw the attention of customers by offering these ‘experiences’. Think about what it is that your hotel provides guest beyond just a room for the night.
Hotels are also having to consider trends and adapt to these in order to draw customers. Some of the most significant trends that have affected the industry have been those related to health and wellness.
Hotels also need to pay a lot more attention to technology and make sure that there is a seamless online booking platform across several platforms.
Customers also expect an international standard of technology to be available to them when staying in a hotel and so you need to consider how you will provide this.
This industry is not very forgiving when it comes to working hours. If you are going into the hotel business you will often work unusual hours and you will have to take holidays out of season if you’re able to take any.
This is also a seasonal business, which means that, even if you are busy during the summer, you may be empty during winter and so you need to be strategic with the way that you run your hotel.
When you are looking for a hotel to buy, you need to think about how you will be able to attract customers during the off seasons.
This industry is one that looks very different when you get on the inside. It is, therefore, extremely useful to have experience working in the hotel industry.
Running a successful hotel, however, requires more than just a knowledge of the hospitality industry. You will also need to have a sound understanding of what it takes to run a business.
You must also be prepared to be constantly interacting with people. Having people skills is a must as you will need to be amiable and approachable to customers. You will want them to return and to leave good reviews so that you can attract new customers.
The attitude of the owner of a hotel makes a big difference to the experience that customers have.
Consider how you will treat your staff. A happy staff will also mean happier customers.
Buying an existing hotel
If you are buying an existing hotel you need to consider its location. Hotels are dependent on location more than many other businesses. Do your research and be sure of what it is that will bring customers to your hotel.
Consider attractions in the area and the impact that seasonal changes have on the number of tourists that come to the area.
Have a clear idea of why some hotels are successful so that you can look for this in the hotel that you buy.
You will also need to research other hotels in the area so that you can know what their occupancy rates are and what kind of competition that they will be.
This is a booming industry, though and, if you find the right hotel to buy, there is no reason why you won't be able to make a success of it.