Minor Hotels showcases commitment to Africa through experiential & sustainable tourism

Minor Hotels – a global leader in hotel ownership, operation and investment – actively continues to demonstrate its commitment to the burgeoning hospitality industry in Africa with offerings that align perfectly with current industry trends, including experiential travel, sustainable tourism, and the growing interest in African destinations.

With its regional operational offices based in Johannesburg, Minor Hotels is making waves signalling a strong commitment to the African continent. Its renowned brands in the region, Anantara and Avani, are familiar to an already appreciative and discerning audience of travellers not just from South Africa but from around the world. The group’s active pursuit of growth underscores Minor Hotels’ dedication to redefining hospitality in Africa, positioning it as a key player in the continent’s tourism sector.

Find your wild side

Minor Hotels’ impressive Southern African portfolio is as diverse as it is far-reaching and boasts 29 spectacular properties located in Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia (Victoria Falls), Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. Among these gems are award-winning The Royal Livingstone by Anantara and Avani Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia; the breathtaking Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and Avani Pemba Beach Hotel in Mozambique caters to the corporate traveller; Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino in Botswana; Avani Windhoek Hotel & Casino in Namibia; and the charming Avani Maseru Hotel and Avani Lesotho Hotel & Casino in Lesotho. Additionally, the Elewana Collection, a curated selection of luxury lodges, camps, and boutique hotels in East Africa, adds a touch of exclusivity to the Minor Hotels experience.

Africa is experiencing a hospitality revolution

Lindi Mthethwa, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing in Africa, highlighted the economic value of Minor Hotels’ presence in Africa. She stated, “Our commitment to the continent goes beyond providing exceptional accommodations in all of the 1234 rooms we have across our properties in the Southern African region. We are proud to contribute to local economies by generating employment opportunities and supporting the tourism sector. Across Africa, our hotels and resorts have created thousands of jobs, and our commitment to sustainable tourism ensures we benefit local communities.”

One of the hallmarks of Minor Hotels’ presence in Africa is its dedication to collaborating with local businesses, artisans, and suppliers. This commitment not only supports the local economy but also promotes sustainable tourism practices. By engaging with local partners, the hotel group is fostering a stronger sense of community and connection within the regions where they operate.

Where it all began…

Minor Hotels’ history dates back to 1967 when William Ellwood Heinecke, known as Bill, embarked on an entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 17. His vision and determination eventually led to the establishment of Minor Hotels, which has since grown into a global hospitality and lifestyle behemoth. Today, the company’s name pays homage to its humble beginnings and has become synonymous with excellence in the hospitality industry worldwide.

While Minor Hotels, may have a relatively low-key name compared to the alluring and exotic “Anantara” – which loosely translates to “water without end” in Sanskrit – this simplicity is a testament to its remarkable success story, showcasing how the group’s unassuming name belies its extraordinary achievements. At the heart of these achievements, you will find uplifting programmes and initiatives which are aimed at preserving and uplifting the communities and environments surrounding the hotels and resorts. These projects play a role in the recovery of tourism and sustainability is a big part of that.

Most recently the Minor Hotels in the region spearheaded the Victoria Falls Clean-up project and two scholarship programmes. In 2022 The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara partnered with Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA) and SOS Children’s Village Livingstone to run a six-month Youth Employment Programme on property. Fifteen vulnerable youths were selected for the first intake to be trained and given formal employment at the hotel. Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and the Aujan Group Holding collaborated to form the Aujan – Anantara Scholarship Programme. This scholarship aims to provide youth from the local Zenguelemo, Pangaia and Sitone communities with access to college education upon completion of their secondary education. 10 students from the local Zenguelemo Secondary School were awarded scholarship opportunities and placed at Instituto Industrial e Comercial “Eduardo Mondlane” de Inhambane, in Inhambane City where they have been enrolled in a comprehensive hospitality course for a three-year period, with lessons covering theoretical hospitality foundation and English language classes. This focus on sustainability and empowerment which forms part of Minor’s DNA as a group, not only impacts tourism but the community as the hotels are key economic drivers in their region.

Minor Hotels continues to push the boundaries of the hospitality industry, and its commitment to Africa is a testament to its dedication to providing memorable experiences, supporting local communities, and promoting sustainable tourism in the region. Plans are underway for adding a brand-new product to the Minor Hotels portfolio – an ultra-luxury safari tented camp, which will be the first of its kind under the Anantara brand. Watch this space…