iHost will debut at Africa Hospitality Week 2018, which will bring suppliers, buyers and thought leaders from the hospitality industry to the Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, between June 24 and 26. The Week will also feature the two existing exhibitions (The Hotel Show Africa and Africa’s Big 7) and two conferences (The Hospitality Leadership Forum and Food Leadership Forum).
It is estimated that over 15,000 decision-makers will participate in these events, which will be organised by dmg ems Africa events, a part of dmg events Middle-East, Asia and Africa [a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT)]. They will serve the growing hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) industries in sub-Saharan Africa.
iHost 2018 will provide suppliers a platform to showcase innovative technologies and equipment for the foodservice and catering and back-of-house operations. Since its inception in 2001, Africa’s Big 7, the continent’s premier food and beverage event has been the go-to show for visitors to source new ingredients, finished products, processing, packaging and logistics solutions.
At the Hotel Show Africa, global exhibitors will showcase products across interiors, lighting and design, technology, security, catering equipment, etc. The Hospitality Leadership Forum and the Food Leadership Forum will attract overseas experts, who will share knowledge and expertise. The conferences will feature debates, live on-floor demonstration and the technology forum TECSEC, which will focus on guest engagement.
Africa Hospitality Week will be supported by South Africa Tourism, the host partner of the event, and a number of industry associations, including Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa; Restaurant Association of South Africa; World Association of Chefs’ Societies, Guest House Accommodation of South Africa and National Accommodation Association of South Africa.
Last year, Africa witnessed 63 million arrivals from overseas. This was an increase of eight per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). It was larger than the global average. The hospitality sector is one of the continent’s biggest commercial successes, and the growth is poised to continue with the opening of new properties in unprecedented numbers by global brands.
The big hitters of 2017 were Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Pearl of Africa Hotel, One&Only (a luxury resort company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and Marriott, the American luxury chain. The investment and growth is continuing in 2018. Christine Davidson, vice-president, dmg events, said that hotel room numbers have been growing strongly, thanks to increased investment.
“Visitor numbers are up this year, with more than 70 per cent occupancy across East, West and Southern Africa,” she added, stating that the growth was not solely in the luxury sector. “Alongside the new four- and five-star properties, investors are turning their attention to the opportunities for development in the mid-scale market,” Davidson stated.