South Africa will regain status as top summer holiday destination, says Southern Sun CEO

By Xolisa Phillip
Posted on Thursday, 16 June 2022 12:03

Visitors are seen at the entrance of Gold Reef City and casino which is owned by Tsogo Sun, in Johannesburg
Visitors are seen at the entrance of Gold Reef City and casino which is owned by Tsogo Sun, in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

After a financial year of “devastating lows and encouraging highs” hotel and hospitality group Southern Sun has moved from “survival to a state of recovery”, says CEO Marcel von Aulock.

In May, Southern Sun published the group’s results for the year ended 31 March 2022, a period characterised by two distinct halves, according to Von Aulock.

“The first half, we were trading at 20% occupancy – we were losing money. We were struggling to keep our heads above water,” says Von Aulock.

“The second half of the year improved,” Von Aulock tells The Africa Report. “We had occupancy of around 40% – normal trade is in the mid-60s.”

“We saw a recovery that put us into a cash positive position. It [recovery] was countrywide –  with the exception of Sandton – and, to an extent, the Western Cape,” Von Aulock says.