Hilton to use SA as ‘Africa springboard’

28 September 2012

Hilton Worldwide opened a regional office in Johannesburg last week as the hotel group moved to exploit growth opportunities and develop existing and potential properties across the African continent and the Indian Ocean islands.

The office is expected to act as a springboard for Hilton to build on its Africa interests and spearhead activities in the region.

“The newly opened office is a milestone in Hilton Worldwide’s 50-plus year history in Africa and a tangible symbol of the company’s future dedication and commitment to the region,” the company said in a statement.

The South Africa office is headed by Hilton Worldwide’s vice president for Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan van der Putten.

“Hilton Worldwide has 33 hotels across Africa and Indian Ocean and a further 19 in the property pipeline, placing us in a strong position for future regional growth,” said global president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide, Chris Nassetta.

The opening of the office follows the addition of the luxury Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa to the Conrad Hotels & Resorts of the Hilton chain in June this year, as well as the launch of a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Cape Town in September.

The rebranding of Pezula is expected to be complete by November 2012, and the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel will be rebranded from the Upper Eastside Hotel and is expected to open by the end of this year.

DoubleTree is Hilton Worldwide’s fifth property in South Africa and its second in Cape Town.

“In 2012 Africa’s projected growth rate is 6%, which gives us confidence to invest even further,” said Hilton Worldwide’s area president for the Middle East & Africa, Rudi Jagersbacher.

“Our long-term goal is to have a Hilton hotel in every key city across the continent, and as we watch Africa turn into a global market player, we want to be present alongside its successes,” Jagersbacher said.

“The next few years promise to bring a wide range of opportunities, including the opening of hotels in new markets such as Sierra Leone, Chad and Uganda.”

SAinfo reporter