Timeshare continues to be a robust and growing sector in South Africa’s holiday market. Against this background, Tsogo Sun – one of the most established players in the market – is extending its long-term commitment to the industry for a further ten years, with the renewal of Southern Sun Resorts’ management contracts with the six properties in its portfolio. Together, these properties cater for more than 44,000 timeshare owners.
Adam Fuller, Director of Operations: Southern Sun Timeshare, said the ten-year management contract renewal highlights the group’s confidence in the timeshare market and its strong commitment to timeshare owners, who in turn continue to demonstrate confidence in the group’s management of their timeshare investments.
Tsogo Sun has a long history in the timeshare industry, having been the first branded hotel company in South Africa, and among the first in the world, to enter the sector 36 years ago.
“In March 1982, when Tsogo Sun (then Southern Sun) entered the timeshare market, we were the first hotel operators to do so,” Adam said. “This was a radical departure from the traditional hotel operation. Southern Sun Timeshare offered consumers the opportunity to buy into highly sought-after real estate and purchase a lifetime of holidays on a fixed-week timeshare basis.
“The timeshare owners had the reassurance that the scheme was backed by the leading holiday hotel group, Southern Sun, and that they would now own a share of this wonderful concept.”
Adam said that sales of R4 million were achieved in the first six weeks of the campaign launch. “For a once-off purchase price, plus a levy for service and upkeep, consumers eagerly accepted the principle of using a holiday unit for a specific period of the year, for years to come. Now, 36 years on, timesharing is as much a part of the leisure industry in South Africa as hotels.”
He said Tsogo Sun’s provision of exceptional holidays backed up by its strong brand has been the basis of timeshare purchases by owners over the years. Timeshare in South Africa supports about 27,000 jobs and generates billions of rands towards the GDP, according to a recent Grant Thornton survey. It is a preferred holiday option for many, thanks to the convenience, affordability, and consistently high standard of accommodation, services, amenities and facilities it offers, particularly when these are managed and maintained by a strong, reputable brand.
Adam added that Southern Sun timeshare owners have a tangible product that provides pride and security of ownership. “As managing agents, we not only take care of the timeshare units and the resorts, but have also developed close relationships with our owners, which has ensured that our offering has evolved to deliver what they ask of us. For instance, through SunSwop, owners can exchange their timeshare, swopping it out into another Southern Sun resort, or an affiliated external resort, or through our overseas timeshare exchanges, where the fee is rock-bottom compared to accommodation costs elsewhere in the United States, Europe or the Far East.”
Facilities and amenities for children and teens have also improved over the years, delivering full entertainment programmes and activities for children of all ages.
Adam said that Southern Sun Resorts has moved with the times and that the company has seen significant changes. “Tsogo Sun is a large and dynamic company, listed on the stock exchange. It is different to where it was 20, 30 years ago, and it’s continuing to grow. This strong link feeds back to the resorts, offering a powerful corporate resource-base to draw from – for legal and compliance expertise, for the best human talent, and more. Southern Sun Resorts is playing the A game here.”
Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Resort properties, located in popular South African holiday destinations, are:
- Beacon Island Resort: situated on a historic maritime site in Plettenberg Bay, it has 200 rooms and eight sea-facing suites, a fitness centre, hotel spa, heated indoor pool, outdoor pool, conferencing facilities, and various restaurant and bar options.
- Cabana Beach Resort: located on the Umhlanga coastline, north of Durban, it is a self-catering resort with 217 sea-facing, fully self-catering apartments for two, four, or six people. Facilities include two swimming pools, a variety of dining options, and year-long kids’ entertainment.
- Umhlanga Sands Resort: situated in Umhlanga, it has 237 semi-catering sea-facing apartments, along with child-friendly amenities and activities, and direct access to the Umhlanga main beach.
- Drakensberg Sun Resort: located in the picturesque Cathkin Park area and overlooking a lake, this is a family-friendly resort with 78 hotel rooms, 62 self-catering timeshare units, a spa, pool, restaurant, and outdoor adventure activities.
- Sabi River Sun Resort: a 200-acre golf resort a mere 10 km from the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, it has 104 timeshare chalets and 60 hotel rooms, a championship 18-hole golf course, a bowling green, three tennis courts, a squash court, five swimming pools, a hippo and crocodile dam, conferencing, year-round children’s entertainment, a spa, and various dining options.
- Pine Lake Resort: situated on the banks of Lake Longmere in White River in Mpumalanga, it has 34 split-level self-catering chalets that can sleep up to six guests; other amenities include tennis and volleyball courts, a gym, spa, games room, swimming, hiking and canoeing.
Southern Sun Resorts is part of Tsogo Sun, the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment group in South Africa. Tsogo Sun encompasses 13 casinos and more than a hundred hotels in South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and Abu Dhabi.