With summer 2022 set to be South Africa’s sizzling comeback season for international tourists, luxury is the parameter that will divide winners from losers in the battle of the bookings across accommodation sectors.

But how will boutique hotels, guest houses and vacation home owners pull off the 5-star luxury make-overs that’ll outshine their rivals and see them ringing in the new year fully booked, when post-Covid cash flow across the tourism industry is at an all-time low?

The answer is simple; buy international designer interiors by the roomful at a no-reserve auction taking place in August.

So says Stef Olivier, Cape Town Director of High Street Auctions, who is selling the designer contents of two of internationally renowned 5-star Cape Town hotels – more than 1 600 prima luxury lots from the Waterfront and Century City – in an online auction from August 4th to 10th.

And according to Olivier, hospitality representatives from across the country and the SADC region are lining up to register for the 280-room clearance sale, which includes hundreds of items from Tihany Design.

“I think it’s a safe bet that at least 90% of the world’s luxury hoteliers dream of having Adam D Tihany create their properties’ interiors, but the fact is only an elite few can afford a Tihany Design project.

“Adam D Tihany has become a global hospitality legend. He has worked on some of the most iconic properties on the planet, including the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas, Westin Chosun in Seoul, The Joule in Dallas, The King David Hotel in Jerusalem, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Breakers in Palm Beach and The Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice.

“Now due to a renovation project, South Africa will see its first and likely only auction ever of hundreds of Tihany Design furniture and décor items.

“It’s true that for most hoteliers a bespoke Adam D Tihany design will remain a pipe dream, but at this auction they can have the next best thing; a Tihany interior at a fraction of the price.”

Olivier says everything necessary for complete suite refits will be sold in the six-day auction including free-standing designer baths, modern basin counters, scores of mattresses and bases and every imaginable item of exclusive furniture and décor. Outdoor furniture and small appliances will also feature among the lots.

“Everyone in hospitality has suffered in the past two years, but international travellers are very selective and they have a surfeit of accommodation choices across South Africa. Venues that stand out from the crowd will profit most in the short- to medium-term, but standing out means making a considered, affordable investment in luxury now – ahead of the season.”

And the investment would be a considered one, Olivier says, because the tourism industry has unequivocally turned the corner towards recovery.

“The figures released this month by Stats SA show income for tourist accommodation increasing by 86.6% for the year ending May 2022.

“While that figure includes restaurants, bar sales and other income, the hotel industry realised the biggest growth in revenue year-on-year, reporting the bulk of income from accommodation, according to the Stats SA report.

“It notes that income from accommodation increased by 61.6% year-on-year in May because of significant growth in both room nights sold and revenue earned per room night.

“In May, the largest contributors to the 61.6% year-on-year increase in income from accommodation were hotels, followed by guest houses, guest farms and other accommodation.”

Olivier also noted a Western Cape Government statement this month concerning airline passenger arrivals: “In April 2022 arrivals through Cape Town International Airport soared to 98% of pre-pandemic levels. Recent data from Statistic South Africa also showed other key source markets such as Germany and the Netherlands made an impressive recovery in April, compared with the same period in 2019.”

Olivier says the auction will be conducted online only and feature more than 1 600 lots.

“To participate, download the High Street Auctions app free from Google Play or the App Store. The online auction will start on Thursday, 4 August, at 10am and run until Wednesday, 10 August, at 10am.

“All auction items can be viewed between 9am and 4pm daily from Monday, 1 August, to Friday, 5 August, at the High Street Auctions office located at 179 Albert Road in Woodstock, Cape Town. For viewing details contact (021) 569-0660 or visit www.highstreetauctions.com.”