Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hotel groups, has geared up for aggressive hotel growth in South Africa, with a focus on key cities.

“As part of our ambitious five-year development plan, we have identified key cities for scaled growth, three of which are located in South Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban,” said Andrew Mclachlan, Senior VP, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa for the Radisson Hotel Group, speaking at the Thinc Africa Conference.

“We plan to develop and operate multiple hotels across our portfolio of brands and market segments within each of these cities, increasing our presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg to at least 10 hotels per city and Durban to at least five hotels. With economic headwinds we have identified opportunities to exploit our vast knowledge and experience in converting unbranded, underperforming hotels or underperforming office or apartment buildings and reposition them to the right brand and market segment within the Radisson Hotel Group brand portfolio. In addition, we are not ignoring the smaller cities and larger towns across South Africa where we’ve identified potential to penetrate the market with either our midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or upscale Radisson,” added Mclachlan.

As part of the company’s recent rebranding to Radisson Hotel Group, a new global brand architecture was introduced, leveraging the international brand equity of the Radisson name to drive awareness in the marketplace and increase marketing efficiency across its global portfolio. From Radisson Collection to prizeotel, the Radisson Hotel Group offers hotel brands that fit a wide range of travellers and budgets.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, we aim to add a further 50 hotels, of which 65% of our future hotel supply will come from our newer brands, specifically Radisson, which is positioned in the full-service upscale segment, perfectly positioned between Radisson Blu in the upper upscale and Park Inn by Radisson in the upper midscale segments. In addition, we will selectively add a number of key Radisson Collection hotels and grow on the successful opening of RED Radisson in Cape Town in the lifestyle upscale segment of the market,” said Mclachlan.

With the increased demand in serviced apartments, the Radisson Hotel Group’s serviced apartment concepts are an extension of the Radisson Blu, Radisson and Park Inn by Radisson brands. These properties offer long-stay guests contemporary design, attractive living areas and social spaces.

In a period of strong growth, the Radisson Hotel Group has doubled its African portfolio within the last four years and, year-to-date, has signed seven more hotel deals and is scheduled to open at least three new hotels across the African continent before year end. This growth has spiked the Group’s portfolio in Africa to almost 90 hotels (18 000+ rooms) in operation and under development across 30 countries.

The 2018 ‘W Hospitality Pipeline Report’ ranked the Group’s flagship brand, Radisson Blu, the leading individual hotel brand with the largest number of hotels under construction in Africa. With 111 hotel brands active in Africa today, Radisson Blu has more hotels under development in Africa than any other hotel brand.

“Our strategy will most certainly reinforce our presence in South Africa as we continue to focus on delivering on our expanding pipeline,” concluded McLachlan.