TOURISM IN SOUTH AFRICA South Africa's tourism industry is one of its fastest-growing industries and the government considers it as a key sector to boost the country's already impressive economic growth. The Tourism industry has been identified as a high-growth potential area (due to its employment generation potential) in the government's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, which aims to lift GDP growth to 8% per year. The tourism industry is closely linked to infrastructure. The South African government, keeping in view the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is investing heavily in the infrastructure development. The major part is being spent on transportation facilities and the hospitality sector. In the year 2005, the tourism industry of South Africa contributed 8.8% to GDP, which is expected to rise to 14% by the year 2014. South Africa's tourism boom has had a predictable knock-on effect on the performance of the country's hotels. There was an increase of 6.4% in occupancy rates at hotels. The South Africa Government is investing substantial sums of money on the airport modernization in Cape Town and at all the other International Airports (OR Tambo and Durban). The government had spent 13 Million Rand to improve navigational aids and 10 Million Rand on the construction and extension to part of the terminal building at Cape Town International in the year 2006. In conclusion, we believe that, taking the elements of location, market and economy, this Beach Hotel will fill a niche in South African tourism industry. It is essential to build property in a market space where there is a demand for the functionalities supplied by the development. With a managing group like The Radisson Hotel Group, a growing tourism industry and upcoming events like the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010 there will be a constant and growing demand for luxury accommodation. DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT: After careful consideration and proper market research, the developers came to the conclusion that there is a need for an environmentally conscious 5 star hotel in the Blaauwberg vicinity. This will be the first of its kind in South Africa. This 195 room, 13-storey 5-Star hotel is to be environmentally conscious, with features such as eco sensitive electrical generators with solar panel appliances, eco friendly paint and windows from recycled glass; visitors will have continuous, uninterrupted access to commodities such as electricity and warm water. With the current power production issues in South Africa, it is imperative to protect the comfort of guests and staff. 2 It is also of the utmost importance to support the local community and by building this hotel, work opportunities will be generated for hundreds of people during the construction phases and also up to 600 permanent vacancies working as hotel and support staff. According to the hotel operating group employment can be up to 3 people per room. With the planned conference facilities provided by the hotel, it could even be more! The developers is currently in negotiations with the Rezidor hotel group. This hotel group has an occupancy percentage of 75% worldwide and they project the same for this hotel, and that's without taking into account the upcoming Soccer World Cup in 2010. Many articles have been posted since the announcement of the development: SOUTH AFRICAN DEVELOPER BUILDING WHAT IT BILLS AS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY 5-STAR CAPE TOWN HOTEL Linda Young - AHN News Writer Cape Town, South Africa (AHN) - Although South Africa isn't known as being environmentally conscious many of the tourists from more developed nations that visit that country are. So a developer decided to build what it is billing as that country's first environmentally conscious five star hotel in Cape Town. With no standards currently in place for what is environmentally friendly there, the hotel's developers are saying that the 13-storey 200-room luxury hotel will set the standard for other environmentally friendly hotels in South Africa. Scheduled for completion at the end of 2009, in time for the 2010 World's Cup, which Cape Town is hosting, the new hotel is being erected at Blouberg, Cape Town. It was granted zoning to be built with any number of floors. Restricting the hotel's height was one way the developers chose to be environmentally friendly, says the developers behind this project. Although even at that height, the hotel will be a towering edifice on the beach at the water's edge, reminiscent of the many hotels in the United States along Florida's overbuilt coastline that stand shoulder-to-shoulder between roads and the ocean, blocking the view of the water. Developers say that another environmentally friendly feature of the hotel was to make sure there was adequate parking and a shuttle for guests attending the upcoming World Cup, to minimize the "environmental impact" of having such a large hotel in that neighborhood. Restricting a building's height, providing shuttle service and adequate parking for guests wouldn't be unusual in a developed nation, but South Africa is a less 3 developed nation. Noting that the environment has taken a backseat in construction, the developer said that since many tourists come from nations with "stringent" environmental laws that the company thinks "that by offering a hotel such as the one we are about to build, we will encourage even more visitors to our shores." The developer also explained why the environment has been a low-priority factor in construction. From a South African perspective of being a less developed country there have been more pressing issues to be concerned about than the environment. In addition, many South Africans have felt that the more developed nations exploited the environment as they were developing and that environmental restrictions by those same "exploitive developed nations" would hinder South Africans attempts to develop, the developer said in a statement. Still, there is concern that South Africa needs to "improve its international stance when it comes to environmental issues for the betterment of South Africa as a whole," the developer said. Whilst zoning was granted for unlimited height for the hotel, the developers decided to limit the height to just 13 stories. "We were very aware of the environmental impact a larger hotel could have on the immediate area, traffic is already a major concern and greatly adding to it would certainly have made matters worse. We have ensured that there is more than adequate parking and will be operating a shuttle van for guests to go into town or to the stadium during the World Cup", the developer said.