Cresta Marakanelo Group continued to increase its footprint in Botswana and the region by opening its latest facility in Jwaneng township. The event marked yet another milestone in Cresta’s remarkable growth.
“The acquisition of this hotel is a testimony that our growth strategy was not just theory but was followed by focused action,” said Cresta Managing Director Tawanda Makaya on Tuesday.
The facility, now called Jwaneng Cresta hotel, was formerly owned by an individual and known as Cezar hotel. It is widely considered a strategic investment by Cresta as the group intends to further its forays into the Trans-Kalahari frontier. Since the conceptualization of its growth strategy five years ago, the African hospitality group has realized other growth achievements, opening Cresta Mahalapye and Cresta Golfview in Lusaka.
“Alongside our growth strategy is our refurbishment exercise which has been hugely successful. To date our existing hotels have been refurbished, with Cresta Rileys’ currently on going and expected to be completed by September this year,” Makaya revealed.
He said the renovations are not just about refurbishing rooms or adding more rooms but also about diversifying Cresta Marakanelo products and services in response to increased customer needs. In Mowana Safari Resort and Spa for instance, the company added a state of art health spa which was benchmarked with internationally acclaimed beauty franchise Clarins International. There are also gyms which are intended to enhance healthy lifestyle- a social behavior which Cresta Marakanelo management advocates for in their respective hotels.
“With these on-going developments that I have just outlined Cresta Jwaneng will be following suit sooner rather than later as it is important that we maintain consistency in living our brand,” Makaya added.
With the acquisition of the property, Cresta Marakanelo has increased its total staff compliment to 970, making the company the leading employer in the hotel industry.
“We therefore have an obligation to set the bar higher than our competitors,” said Makaya.
To showcase their commitment to their employees’ welfare, Cresta Marakanelo deliberately gave them first priority to mark their presence at their respective hotels. Besides opening bank accounts for all Cresta Jwaneng employees, thereby superseding the outdated method of paying employees by envelopes, Cresta Marakanelo management also provides meals at the work place. A designed staff canteen is located in the facility as it is the company’s belief that no employee can live up to Cresta Marakanelo’s motto of “where one smile starts another” if they are hungry. Staff transport from home to work for those on early and late hours shift is also provided, together with corporate uniform, protective clothing and medical assistance through a medical aid scheme.
“In a nutshell Cresta Marakanelo shall continue to ensure that it continuously enhances an employee friendly environment bearing in mind that a strategy that we put in place, be it operational or growth related, depends mainly on the active and passionate involvement of our human resource,” said Makaya.
The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama sees the hospitality division as an integral part of the tourism industry, uplifting the outlook of the sector in Botswana.
“To that effect, Cresta Marakanelo has employed various activities to ensure the provision of value for money for products and service,” he added.
Khama reminded Cresta Marakanelo management and staff of their standard operational deliverables including their catch phrase “We hire for attitude and train for skills” which he maintained never escaped the company’s attention to date.