TOP FIVE AFRICAN HOTELS FOR CENTI-MILLIONAIRES REVEALED, INCLUDING THE ROYAL LIVINGSTONE BY ANANTARA. MINOR HOTELS IN AFRICA SHOWS STRONG RECOVERY AND COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY DESPITE TOURISM CHALLENGES.
In the year 2022, the number of international tourists skyrocketed, with a staggering 700 million people traveling between January and September. This figure was more than double (+133%) the number recorded during the same period in the previous year. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), this surge in global tourism indicated that the industry was well on its way to reaching 65% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.
Africa’s tourism industry experienced significant growth (+166%) during this period, reaching 60% of its 2019 levels. This impressive rebound can be attributed to pent-up demand, increased traveler confidence, and the relaxation of travel restrictions. By the end of the year, occupancy rates in African hotels stood at 61%.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized the sector’s role in bringing hope and opportunities to people worldwide. He stressed the need to reflect on the future of tourism, its direction, and its impact on people and the planet.
Africa’s Top Hotels for Centi-Millionaires
If you’re a centi-millionaire planning a luxurious adventure in Africa, the 2022 Africa Wealth Report can provide valuable insights of Africa’s top hotels. New World Wealth, a renowned wealth intelligence company, surveyed centi-millionaires (individuals with net investable assets of $100 million or more) who visited Africa from 2015 to 2022. The report revealed their top five hotels on the continent:
Royal Livingstone: An Oasis of Luxury
Managed by Anantara, Minor Hotels’ flagship brand, the Royal Livingstone claimed a spot on the coveted list. This luxurious hotel, located on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, captivated travelers with its exceptional service and awe-inspiring location. The other four hotels that made the top five were the Oyster Box in Durban, Ellerman House in Cape Town, Royal Mansour in Marrakech, Morocco, and the Four Seasons Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
According to Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, other popular African Hotels for centi-millionaires include Cairo in Egypt, the Serengeti in Tanzania, the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Okavango Swamps in Botswana, and Livingstone in Zambia. Gorilla safaris in the Virunga Mountains (Rwanda) and the Bwindi Forest (Uganda) also attracted discerning travelers.
Royal Livingstone’s Unique Appeal
The Royal Livingstone secured third place in Travel and Leisure magazine’s ‘World’s Best Awards’ and was recognized with TripAdvisor’s ‘Travelers’ Choice Award for Hotels’ in 2022. What sets this property apart? Beyond its renowned river safaris and luxurious spa, the hotel’s prime location on the banks of the Zambezi River, overlooking Victoria Falls, plays a significant role. Additionally, the recent revelation that the Royal Livingstone holds exclusive rights to private dining in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park further distinguishes it from competitors.
Minor Hotels: A Commitment to Africa
Nico Vivier, Regional Director of Operations and Development for Minor Hotels Africa, highlighted the company’s focus on location and guest experiences, particularly at their resorts. William E. Heinecke, the 75-year-old founder who gave the group its name, instilled a passion for exceptional locations. Minor Hotels currently owns, manages, and operates over 530 hotels, resorts, and branded residences across 50+ countries, including Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Kenya. Their portfolio consists of renowned brands such as Anantara, Avani, Elewana, Oaks, NH Hotels, NH Collection, nhow, and Tivoli. They plan to expand into South Africa soon.
Vivier emphasized the significance of supporting and developing local communities in conjunction with their hotel operations. For instance, the Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort in Mozambique proudly employs 90% of its staff from the local island. Minor Hotels also invests in infrastructure, opening schools, hospitals, and the best eye clinic in Mozambique.
Sustainable Initiatives and Responsible Travel
Aligned with global responsible travel trends, Minor Hotels has implemented various sustainability projects across their Southern African properties. These initiatives not only offer incentives to visitors but also contribute to the betterment of local communities and the environment.
The Avani Windhoek Hotel and Casino in Namibia, for instance, became the first hotel in the country to receive the 5 Flowers Eco Award for its eco-friendly practices. Similarly, the CSR program at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort and the Royal Livingstone addresses sustainability concerns such as water conservation, plastic reduction, carbon footprint mitigation, and community development. Notably, the support provided to the women-led bee-keeping co-operative in Mukuni village, Zambia, has had a positive impact on the local community.
Weathering the Storm: Minor Hotels’ Commitment
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic-induced tourism crisis, Minor Hotels demonstrated resilience and dedication. They made the decision to keep all their properties open and provided support to their teams, retaining 80% of their workforce during this challenging period. Their efforts paid off, as their third-quarter results for 2021 showed a remarkable 19% increase compared to the same period in 2019. This commitment to their employees and guests reflects their ethos of positive energy, authenticity, warmth, atmosphere, and service.