Scores of travel professionals turned out in Cape Town last week to attend the Protea Hospitality Group’s National Workshop at African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, where 53 hotels in the group were represented.
The National Workshop is held annually to give hotel General Managers and travel professionals a chance to interact personally, because the travel trade is the traditional lifeblood of the hospitality industry and plays an extremely important role from both the leisure and business travel perspectives.
“The hotels get to present themselves to the agents who attend and to answer questions about their properties. It is also valuable for the GMs to hear from agents the challenges and successes they experience, which strengthens those business relationships in the long term,” said Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing and Advertising Manager of the Protea Hospitality Group.
Gary Koetser, GM of the host property African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, said the hotel had been the ideal venue for the workshop, especially because of the central location and easy access from all parts of Cape Town. “We’re honoured to have hosted so many of our sister hotels this week and to have had the opportunity to showcase our very special property to such a large number of travel professionals - especially the size and scope of our convention centre facilities,” Koetser said of his hotel, which is the second largest conferencing venue in the city after the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town GM Johan Cronje said the workshop was very productive. “The great location this year allowed an easier flow of visitors, which meant that we could spend more time with each agent,” he said. “Not only could we tell them all about our hotel, but there was enough time to discuss their wants and needs and that insight is invaluable.”
Guy Stehlik, owner and GM of the newest property to join Protea Hotels, the Protea Hotel Vineyards Estate in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, said he’d been “overwhelmed by the response”
“We’re the new kids on the block, so there was a great deal of interest shown in our hotel, especially from the corporate market, and because of our location that is where our interest lies,” Stehlik said.
Leon Meyer, who has just taken over as GM of African Pride Hotels’ newest property, Arabella Hotel & Spa near Hermanus, said he was looking forward to the challenge of steering the magnificent property to even greater heights and the workshop was one way to do this.
“We’ve had a chance to introduce the hotel to travel professionals and explain how African Pride Hotels intends to make an even bigger success of the property. We have everything going for us in terms of location on the banks of southern Africa’s largest lagoon and in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. We’re located on one of SA’s top five championship golf courses and the agents we spoke to at the workshop were very enthusiastic about the property,” Meyer said.
Kerry-Lee Patmore, Cape Regional Sales Manager for Protea Hotels, said the National Workshop was always an exciting event. “From a sales perspective we get to speak to agents every day, but it’s not like the National Workshop when there’s a lot of time to interact is a more relaxed atmosphere. My TEAM takes away so muchand it is extremely valuable to have this one-to-one time with our travel industry partners,” Patmore said.