Redevelopment of Rosebank Mall having positive impact on hotels

Posted On Wednesday, 13 August 2014 08:59 Published by
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Redevelopment of the Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg is having a welcome effect on hotels in the area, with foreign business tourists now staying longer, partly to shop at the new high-end stores.

Rosebank Mall

While traditionally such hotel guests would spend Monday to Thursday in the city and fly home on Friday, they were now flying in two days earlier or staying the weekend to shop. This is according to Rosebank's Hyatt Regency hotel GM, Michael McBain. He said visitors from within the continent were particularly interested in shopping.

Gillian Saunders, principal and head of advisory services at professional services firm Grant Thornton, said "shopping tourism" was a key aspect of the hospitality industry. Gauteng was particularly well placed to attract foreign shoppers, with Sandton City being a "major shopping draw card". Easing shoppers' experiences in Sandton was the Gautrain station. Many were brought to the district for conferences at the Sandton Convention Centre, one of the country's busiest venues.

Occupancy rates for business hotels are generally higher during the week, and decline on weekends and holidays. The Hyatt has average occupancy rates of 90% from Monday to Thursday, falling to 50% on weekends, according to Mr McBain. Last year the Hyatt embarked on an R80m renovation, coinciding with the renovation of the mall. The bulk of its guests are from the US, Europe and Australia, with conferences and events bringing guests from the continent.

"So where Sandton used to draw a lot of the African delegates in general, that has now diversified (with Rosebank also a popular destination for shopping) and they are very brand conscious," said Mr McBain. Tsogo Sun is completing the construction of a corridor that links its 54 on Bath hotel directly with the Rosebank Mall. This will allow easy access to the mall and improve the shopping experience for guests.

However, the group did not believe the new mall would increase the length of stay of guests. Unlike the Hyatt, Tsogo Sun's 54 on Bath experiences the same occupancy rates throughout the week, with weekends being filled by local guests, said the group's GM for communications, Priya Naidoo.

"The new mall development will allow us to focus on alternative weekend accommodation packages," Ms Naidoo said. Ms Saunders said the new highend stores at the Rosebank Mall and proximity of business hotels to the Gautrain, gave Rosebank the potential to become a sought-after shopping destination. "It will always be a little behind Sandton, but Rosebank is a good secondary nerve," Ms Saunders said.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 August 2014 07:36

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