Developers confident as P56m lodge launches

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South African hospitality chain, City Lodge Hotels, expects its recently opened R65 million (P56 million) Town Lodge in Gaborone to build a loyal patronage over the next six months, driven by its prime location as well as the robust 28-year-old brand.

The 104-room Town Lodge Gaborone is the first asset the group has built from scratch outside South Africa, developed after extensive due diligence and site investigation. The group's other forays outside South Africa consist of 50 percent equity in two Kenyan hotels secured in 2011.On Monday, City Lodge Hotels public relations and communications advisor Angus Macmillan told Mmegi Business that since opening its doors near the Sir Seretse Khama Airport in May, Town Lodge Gaborone was gaining purchase in the market.

"We are excited that the very first hotel we have built outside South Africa is in a neighbouring country and we are very positive about the hotel's future prospects," he said in a telephone interview from Johannesburg."Business is slow as with any brand new hotel, especially when it operates outside its home base. However, it will pick up as the travel industry becomes aware of its existence as well as its proximity to the airport. It takes a while for a brand new hotel to really get moving but we are hoping that South African travellers to Botswana for business or leisure will use the hotel as they are familiar with the brand. Also, we expect business from Batswana who are familiar with the brand from South Africa."

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