by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – MILLAT Investments’ commitment of R300 million on new hotels is a mark of confidence in South Africa’s leisure and business tourism sector.
It is a boost to the wider recovery of the economy, with more than 150 direct jobs and almost 400 indirect jobs created during the rollout over 18 months.
The Hyatt House Hotel in Sandton is the latest facility to be opened.
The global Hyatt group manages the hotel.
It follows the launch of Hyatt Regency Cape Town, the first Hyatt-branded property in the Mother City.
A second Hyatt House hotel will open in Rosebank, Johannesburg, in the coming weeks.
This is part of a bigger rollout strategy, with more hotel sites currently under evaluation.
Hamza Farooqui, Millat’s Chief Executive Officer, believes the hospitality sector’s untapped potential is not being fully maximised in South Africa.
A greater display of confidence and more investment can grow the sphere exponentially in coming years, he said.
Farooqui said apart from South Africa’s globally recognised internal destinations and abundant sunshine, the country has excellent supporting infrastructure ranging from transport, communications and health services.
These are all pre-requisites for effective tourism.
“Our job as a country is to use those enablers to encourage higher visitor volumes. And when that happens, there is a positive knock-on effect on the economy,” Farooqui said.
Peter Fulton, Hyatt’s Group President for Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has been in South Africa as part of Millat’s launch week.
“His presence indicates how seriously his organisation is about South African expansion and the overall potential of the business travel and tourism sector in the region,” Farooqui said.
The new Hyatt House Sandton has newly refurbished suites that range from a one bedroomed apartment to spacious three-bedroomed accommodation that can cater for a small family of holiday makers or business expatriates working in Johannesburg.
Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, welcomed the Hyatt House Sandton business into the country’s economic hub saying such investments would create jobs while boosting the country’s economy.
Makhura said Gauteng province lost a total of 650 000 jobs between March 2020 and 2021 periods.
“This investment (Hyatt House Sandton) has created 150 jobs. We want more tourists to come to Gauteng. Every tourist who comes here creates jobs,” said Makhura.
– CAJ News