South African hotel group Orion Hotels has officially joined US hotel chain Best Western Hotels and Resorts as its local franchisee.
Orion CEO Franz Gmeiner announced at a media event on Friday that 13 Orion hotels would be converted to become part of the Best Western franchise.
Each of the 13 hotels would adapt Best Western brand standards, but would operate under the management of Orion Hotels. The two companies planned to further expand throughout Africa as Orion Hotels would continue to lease, manage and acquire new properties.
The rebranding of the first three hotels – Velmoré Hotel Estate, in Pretoria; Hotel Promenade, in Nelspruit; and the Magoebaskloof Hotel, in Limpopo – was projected to be completed by July. This would be followed by the rebranding of a further ten hotels by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the event, Gmeiner said the idea to join Best Western was conceptualised last year, after which negotiations were held between the companies.
“We concluded the deal in November last year and agreement contracts were finalised in February,” he said.
He added that the partnership was opportune for Orion because its property portfolio suited Best Western’s portfolio of properties.
“Best Western has been looking to expand into South Africa for some time and they were very excited about this partnership,” he said.
He added that being a member of a major hotel group would be beneficial to Orion and noted that, once the rebranding was complete, Best Western would be the biggest international hotel brand in Southern Africa.
“Best Western gives us more gravitas in the market and speaks to service elements, upping the game to international standards.
“This partnership provides an ideal platform for Orion Hotels to expand its footprint through contracts and leases throughout Africa and elsewhere,” he stated.