Starwood Seeks to Enter Luxury Safari Market

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is looking to enter into the luxury safari market and is seeking opportunities in South Africa.

Amanda Elder, Starwood’s vice president of sales for the Europe, Africa and Middle East division, told Business Day that is something new for the company, but something they want to get into.

Starwood says it is not looking to make any acquisitions in South Africa or build new hotels. The preferred model for Starwood’s entrance into the safari and bush lodge segment would be via management contracts, Elder said.

Commenting on the South African market, Elder told Business Day that "occupancies are not strong," which makes investment in new hotels unrealistic.

According to Smith Travel Research, average hotel occupancies across South Africa as latest as August were 53.1 percent compared with 51.6 percent in the same month a year earlier.

Elder said that Starwood would ultimately want a collection of about a dozen lodges.

 

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.

Suggested Articles:

Small-ship luxury Ponant has announced a new "Solar Eclipse" voyage to Antarctica's Weddell Sea during November 2021. Check it out.

Insight Vacations launched its 2021-22 Americas collection, including Alaska, Western, Southern and East Coast U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Laurel Brunvoll of Unforgettable Trips recently returned from a cruise on SeaDream I, which ended early due to guests testing positive for COVID-19.