ANEW Hotels & Resorts, a hotel asset management company, boasts a 15 properties across South Africa, and this year alone has added properties in Cape Town, Newcastle and Roodepoort. We chatted with Alan Campbell, Sales and Marketing Director about the expansion, how the group is selecting properties off the beaten track, and what locals are looking for in a holiday.

ANEW is increasing its footprint at a time when many in hospitality are cautious – why is this?

We have the utmost confidence in our team, this can be seen as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire ANEW team from our receptionists, security guards to our CEO, all pulling together. When the pandemic came, we decided not to close a single property, staying open just for one or two essential workers during this time. We had no choice but to be flexible and, at any point, you would have found a manager of a property mowing the lawn, or an accountant scrubbing toilets.

ANEW tried to keep as many of its staff working as it could and kept in touch with those who could not be on site weekly. Taking care of our staff was our utmost priority, sending food parcels to our teams and rotating them every week to ensure they make money. But the most important aspect of our success is our people and their dedication to living our values. We all wear a bangle that says Hitec, which stands for honour, integrity, teamwork, excellence and courage. It serves to remind us that we have a shared purpose and sense of belonging.

 

What makes you positive about South African tourism and its growth?

We live in arguably the most beautiful country in the world. From oceans, to forests, to mountains and the majestic wilds of Africa, our beautiful diversity lies not only in our incredibly unique fauna and flora but in the cultural mix and passion of our people. Do I think people want to experience all they can of South Africa? Yes. Will they return to experience more? Yes.

 

Why have you chosen the nodes/areas that you have for your properties?

There is no simple answer to that question but I guess I could say it starts with belief. A belief that we can add value to the area and a belief that the area adds value to new and existing ANEW customers. We are passionate about doing our part to put so-called “secondary nodes” on the tourism map – some of South Africa’s most beautiful areas are a little bit off the mainstream path.

Is there a golden thread that runs between the properties in your portfolio? What makes an ‘ANEW’ property?

Our people and our values – that’s what ANEW is all about. That’s what people remember when they leave. The smiles, the high fives and the care. As international travellers return to SA, is there anything in particular that you are adopting in your properties to appeal to this market? We’re a South African born and bred hospitality business and we don’t try to be anything else. From decor to cuisine (and our famous black pots – local delights), we put South Africa on show and the Mzansi Magic does the rest.

 

The domestic market has kept hospitality going over the last couple of years – what do you think that they will be looking for in a hospitality destination going forward?

The South African market is value conscious and South Africans love a good deal. I think we’re going to see high demand for secondary nodes, self-catering options, off-peak travel and domestic groups.