While the hospitality industry has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years, some key players in the tourism sector will not allow the blockage of their growth and expansion plan. One such player is Cresta Marakanelo Limited which is expanding its sprawling empire while waiting for better days.
This past week, the BSE quoted hotelier announced that it will be expanding the Mahalapye property by another 64 additional rooms, the development will take place on a piece of land adjacent to the existing hotel, and the two plots have since been consolidated.
The extended part of the hotel offers 62 additional rooms comprising of 58 standard, two twin rooms, one presidential suite and one paraplegic. Currently the hotel which has 64 rooms, will now be spread over 126 rooms.
“This coupled with the projected increased revenue generation of the enlarged hotel will make this a strategic investment. There will also be a divisible and soundproof conference room which at maximum capacity will accommodate 100 delegates, conference style (this is in addition to the 250-conferencing capacity on the existing hotel). The extension will also comprise of additional, spacious reception lobby, conference break-away rooms, and a boardroom. The hotel will allow for 75 additional parking spaces. The estimated development cost is P 40 million, building only excluding Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF and E). Estimated FF and E is P16million,” said CML Managing Director Mokwena Morulane.
He further stated that Cresta is in a period of significant evolution and opportunity, despite changes in the travel and hospitality industry that are challenging hotels to move beyond brand identity and extend and deepen their relationships with travelers.
“We are passionate about the industry and we believe that the future of the hospitality and tourism in Botswana is as bright as ever hence the expansion of Cresta Mahalapye. The rebound and sustained recovery of the industry is certain. Concluding the agreement for this project during this tough season, was strategic in that the completion of the hotel is targeted to coincide with the anticipated full recovery of the market,” said Morulane.
The expansion of the hotel a few months after the lifting of State of Emergency (SoE) is a commendable move which means that more opportunities will be created in the industry that was in limbo for two years. Currently CML has 11 properties across the country.
Over the years CML has ensured that hospitality will always be centered around customer experiences and connecting with people, “Even as new technology, evolving customer preferences, and new competitive threats change the hotel experience, outstanding hospitality will still require a thoughtful human touch. Cresta offers guests a memorable hotel experience uniquely tailored to their expectations for every stay”.
“CML has always been a good and strategic partner which has always made it easy to work with over these past years. The further development of this property is a positive and welcome signal for the further development and growth of the tourism and hospitality sector in Botswana” said Saiganesh the property landlord of Cresta Mahalapye.