O&L Leisure Breaks Ground For Strand Hotel N$ 342 MILLION INVESTMENT IN NAMIBIA TOURISM
SWAKOPMUND, Namibia, Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- www.strandhotelswakopmund.com - On Thursday, 14 November 2013 O&L Leisure - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group of Companies - held the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Strand Hotel at Swakopmund. The old Strand Hotel had been demolished in 2008 and the O&L Group and O&L Leisure team set out to conceptualize and design the new Strand Hotel ensuring the iconic, cultural and historic aspects of this amazing Mole site, were truly appreciated, respected and protected.
In his address, Executive Chairman of the O&L Group, Sven Thieme expressed his delight at being able to deliver on the O&L Group purpose and promise of 'Creating a future, enhancing life' – through the Strand Hotel. He said: "Over the past years Namibia has made great progress in the development of our country and in particular the tourism industry. The recently concluded COP11 and Adventure Travel World Summit are testimony to that and is in no small measure thanks to the Government's Vision 2030 Goals, amongst others. They are a powerful incentive for real, tangible and collective action that was only possible because we have all worked together and continue to do so. We should all be proud of what has been accomplished."
Thieme added that it was important that everyone should collectively take development in their hands thereby empowering the people, enhancing inclusive and sustainable growth, environmental sustainability and living up to equity and good governance. He added: "I firmly believe that with an integrated approach where economic, social and environmental elements reinforce each other, we can achieve a developed Namibia - much faster than we think! As such, the Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies – through our O&L Leisure subsidiary - is extremely proud to further invest into the Namibian economy through the development of the Strand Hotel. This exquisite Namibian product brings about a number of opportunities such as employment creation, building innovative and sustainable businesses in Namibia and in this case the Erongo Region thereby boosting the country's global tourism profile and contributing to socio-economic wealth and ultimately profiling Namibia as a major tourist destination. The new Strand Hotel will offer a unique fusion of Namibian and International hospitality. Giving a true sense of place, and encompassing the warmth and authenticity of our people, the Strand Hotel symbolizes the aspirations of our nation, our ability to persevere, and our right to shine in the international arena."
Bruce Hutchison, Managing Director of O&L Leisure in his address quoted Winston Churchill from one of his famous speeches after a battle lost and said: "Never, never, never give up!" He applauded Sven Thieme for his patience, persistence, commitment and dedication and daring to dream. Hutchison continued to say that Namibians are known for their hospitality, so it was only befitting that the Hotel became a gateway, open to welcome local friends, regional neighbours and international visitors. He continued to say that the O&L Leisure team's conceptual thoughts and design briefs were guided by the understanding of the site on the Mole, a destination which anchored the historic section of Swakopmund and a site which over the years had become part of every Swakopmunders' and many Namibians' lives. "The entire development was designed and will be built to International 4 star hotel standards as the success of our business model calls for us to cater not only for the International market, but most importantly, also attracting local Swakopmunders, Namibians and regional visitors. Our o!bjective is to offer all hotel residents and restaurant customers' true Namibian value for money."
He added that the exterior architecture had been inspired by Swakopmund itself and was based on a contemporary interpretation of the historic German architecture so prevalent in town. "The hotel was set to fit in perfectly with the historic beauty of the town, complimenting it and blending in, to truly become part of this Namibian jewel. The building has been designed to look and feel smaller by dividing it into 3 sections and setting each back from the other enabling the entire sea front area, along the Mole, to become individual weather protected terraces all open to the general public as they are invited to enjoy their Mole. The interior concept can be best described as completely residential in feel and structure. I describe it as wanting to create a non-hotel Hotel - making you feel as if you are in a very warm and welcoming home - elegant, tasteful and un-pretentious setting out to make all feel very welcome and entirely comfortable", concluded Hutchison.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga congratulated and thanked the O&L Group of Companies and O&L Leisure for their achievement: "I know that the process has been laborious but Rome was not built in one day either, and O&L Leisure is a company that ensures everything is in place before embarking on such an ambitious task. You have made sure that all parties in and around Swakopmund are happy and you have taken all players into consideration – from the residents of Swakopmund to the municipality and the regional council and now you have buy-in and approval from all which means that your construction can only go smoothly."
He added that the new Strand Hotel would most certainly feature prominently on the list of tourist operators and would mark a highlight in the calendar of tourists visiting Namibia. He urged all players in the tourism industry to work together and to ensure that Namibia becomes a tourism destination of choice for the world. "NTB, Air Namibia, NWR, HAN, Ministry of Tourism, immigration officials and numerous more are responsible to ensure that tourists choose Namibia as a preferred holiday destination, have a pleasurable experience, spread the word amongst acquaintances and even become regular visitors." He further added that his ministry's door was always open and his people were eager and willing to listen to challenges, solutions and any plans to enhance the industry. "After all, commitment of all players to the same goals within the industry in this country will ensure that the tourism industry flourishes and with it the country, its people and the economy", concluded Minister Herunga.
Group Manager: External Relations
Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies
Media Contact: Roux-Che Locke , 00264-81-6276768, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE O&L Leisure Hotels & Lodges