“Before Mayfair Hotel, the hotels here were the same ones doing business when I left Mthatha some 30 years ago,” Billion Group founder Sisa Ngebulana said.
“My aim with Mayfair Hotel was to create affordable luxury – a four-star grading with the look and feel of a five-star establishment.”
The hotel, which officially opened to the public on Friday, is strategically situated next to BT Ngebs City, one of the Billion Group’s regional malls in the province.
“When we opened BT Ngebs City two years ago, we brought stores to the region that were found only in larger cities,” he said. “By opening Mayfair Hotel, we bring accommodation, previously found only in Johannesburg or Cape Town.”
Ngebulana also spoke of groundbreaking developments the group plans to roll out in the near future, including a casino and entertainment complex which will enter the construction phase towards the end of the year.
The entrepreneur’s latest venture into the hotel development market created about 750 direct and indirect jobs during the tw0-year period of the hotel’s construction, with about 70 permanent jobs created at operation phase.
The development is also expected to drive greater business tourism to the region.
“Other tourism establishments in Mthatha are consistently booked up, which shows the demand in the market for accommodation of this calibre.”
The Mayfair Hotel is being positioned as a business hotel with the capacity to host up to 120-seater business conferences facilities.
“The hotel has an incredible lounge and restaurant for business networking, as well as a boardroom and private dining room for more confidential discussions,” said Njongwe. “We believe it will become a great place to do business.”
“Tourism is the new gold, and its impact goes far beyond the establishments themselves (with downstream economic benefits),” said SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona. “It isn’t just about leisure, but increasingly about business and conferences. Business tourism is becoming increasingly relevant.
With research showing the demand for accommodation, particularly upmarket offerings, in the area, Billion Group commercial director Vuyokazi Njongwe said the decision to develop the Mayfair Hotel was a no-brainer.
“The area is crying out for development and we are heeding that call,” he said.