South Africa’s premium hotel brand – The SunLux Collection by Sun International Group – wants the Indian tour operators to patronise its 1,800-key Palace of the Lost City in Sun City again.
Spread over 11,000 hectares, the Palace of the Lost City in Sun City, overlooks the Pilansberg Nature Reserve in South Africa. It opened in 1992, making it more than 26 years old. This is why it has already started its five-year plan in terms of renovation, says Sherene Allaman, Vice President—International Sales and Marketing, Sun International, who was in Mumbai recently as part of South African Tourism’s four-city roadshow.
While the property has been popular with Indian travellers, it was experiencing a dip in numbers from the India market. Allaman adds, “Last year was challenging for us as the tourist arrivals into South Africa witnessed a slight drop. However, we are already seeing the numbers rising with forward bookings. And we will be promoting all our five properties in South Africa with a special focus on Sun City as it is ideal for Indian visitors, specially big groups.”
Vasudha Sondhi, Managing Director, Outbound Marketing, that promotes the group in India, agrees and adds, “The Sun City resort is perfect for big groups, whether it is incentives or weddings. It has four properties in one resort. We need to ensure that the millennial traveller understands the property and knows all the activities that can be done there. We want to bring Sun City back into the limelight.”
The SunLux Collection also hosted an appreciation dinner for its trade partners in Mumbai. It currently has five luxury properties in South Africa – The Table Bay in Cape Town, The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth, The Palace of the Lost City in Sun City, The Maslow Hotel Sandton and the one-year-old Maslow Times Square in Pretoria which opened in March 2018.
Allaman also shared that when agents book more than one SunLux Collection hotel for a group, they can reap financial benefits. They can do this by weaving the itineraries around these properties. All properties have Indian chefs and Jain groups are allowed to bring their own chef. This year will see the hotel group host operators on educational tours to their properties. Sondhi adds, “We will conduct site inspections for the trade. We did this several years ago but it has evolved and the product has also changed, and the agents need to see that.”