Ed’s Note

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Just how well, or badly, is the tourism industry faring in South and Southern Africa? To a large extent, the answer will depend on which segment of the market you’re servicing.

For the top end of the market, for the service providers that cater for globe-trotting lovers of luxury and leisure, times are very good indeed. Africa remains a dream destination for the wealthy, its traditional attractions firmly established as a feature on the gold-plated bucket list. In fact, the biggest mistake that luxury operators can make is not to be luxurious enough. Think bigger, and you’ll grow bigger, seems to be the prevailing wisdom. This was the philosophy adopted by the Mbano Manor Hotel near Victoria Falls, and the gambit has paid off handsomely. Read more about it in this issue.

While planning your luxury offering, be sure to take care of the Millenials. This is the message relayed by the new Radisson Red at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, and amplified by the Lausanne Hotel School. Millenials are the future, so get used to it. Find both perspectives in this issue.

What about less well-heeled tourists? Here, the industry as a whole needs to carry out some introspection. The fact is that while five-star game lodges are experiencing little difficulty in persuading the 1% to part with their cash, the remainder of the market is beginning to find South Africa more expensive than before. Cape Town leads the way in this regard, as the ordinary tourist is forgotten in the rush to target the big guns. Even the Dutch are complaining! The only players to benefit from this turn are the likes of AirBnB. However, alternative approaches do exist. One such approach is that of VillaOCap, for whom tourists are an end, and not a means. Benefit from their knowledge sharing in this issue.

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