Southern Sun is looking to further expand its offshore business with expansion into Libya, Southern Sun Offshore managing director Richard Weilers revealed.
“We’re all at very advanced discussions in Tripoli in Libya and I must say that I was extremely impressed with Tripoli, it’s the most fascinating city and is going through quite a big transformation,” said Weilers.
“It’s one the cleanest cities I’ve seen in Africa for a long time, it’s really incredible, very friendly people, and they’re aligning themselves now to a new growth phase. It’s one of the richest countries per capita in Africa so they have very good natural resources that is actually part of the economy and they’re going to spend it wisely into infrastructure and to sustain business and tourism in the future,” he added.
The negotiations form part of Southern Sun’s “very defined” offshore expansion strategy, said Weilers.
“Our strategy is to work within regions where we can get some critical mass so we’re not looking at going into regions where we can’t grow our hotels by more than one because we also have a very branded strategy as a group,” he explained.
“At the end of the day management contracts are about logistics and the further apart and the more you stretch your logistics the less of service one can be to the product and to your management that are in there.
“We are very clear that when we go into a region we create relevance in the region and we are highly competitive in the region we go into,” he added.
The Southern Sun Offshore portfolio comprises nine properties, with hotels under development in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah.
In South Africa, the company operates more than 80 hotels.