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API Hospitality Forum takes a deep dive into the local and African market

04 October 2023

  • Daniel Trappler, Senior Director, Development, Africa at Radisson Hotel Group

This year’s API Hospitality Forum takes place next week on 11 October 2023 at the Marriott Hotel, Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, South Africa. Given the unparalleled changes of the past few years, and the evolving landscape of the hospitality sector, the forum provides a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration.

For 2023, the API Hospitality Forum has been expanded and features even more pace-setting industry leaders to provide a fresh focus on the South African and broader African hospitality market. The event is sponsored by Marriott Hotels, JLL, HTI Consulting, Radisson Hotel Group, Accor and Kasada Capital Management.

This industry-shaping gathering coincides with the #API2023 Summit, the foremost real estate gathering in Africa, creating an exceptional prospect for professionals in both hospitality and real estate industries to connect to explore synergies and opportunities.

Tasneem Karam, Development Marketing Manager – EMEA, Marriott International, comments, “The API Summit offers Marriott International a valuable opportunity for industry networking, including face-to-face conversations with colleagues and partners, and engaging with investors. The event provides a great platform for meaningful discussions that go on to shape the future of the regional hospitality market, all while allowing the attendees to benefit from the expertise of a distinguished panel of speakers”.

Daniel Trappler, Senior Director, Development, Africa at Radisson Hotel Group says, “We have always found the API Summit to be an essential gathering for us, offering a wealth of opportunities to network, exchange insights, and uncover new opportunities for growth across Africa. Given our steadfast dedication to the African continent, it is crucial for us to identify and nurture these opportunities, particularly within the hospitality industry. It's been truly inspiring to witness and contribute to API's evolution from a real estate-centric focus to one that fully embraces the hospitality sector - which is why we're thrilled to see the establishment of this dedicated hospitality forum. We're eagerly anticipating a productive, fruitful event this year, with high hopes for even greater success in the years to come.”

The event will introduce unique speakers from across the hospitality industry and connect investors, owners, funds, tour operators, hotel operators and more for a day of networking, content and deal-making.

Fiona Craw, JLL’s Vice President – Hotels & Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa, reports that while JLL has seen a strong recovery in hotel demand globally, there is dislocated investor interest as a result of the high cost of capital. Capital for development will remain challenging to access in the short-term, with a significantly lower hotel pipeline anticipated across Africa. This will allow for a stronger performance narrative to emerge and potentially be the recalibration that the sector needs. Overall, the outlook for the region is promising, and platforms such as API are important to shine a spotlight on these opportunities,” says Craw”.

This is the second successive year that the API Hospitality Forum has been held concurrently with the API Summit.

Wayne Troughton, CEO of HTI Consulting, co-founding sponsor of the gathering, notes, “Conferences are an excellent platform to share ideas on industry trends and information, network and build relationships with industry colleagues. With this in mind, HTI Consulting entered a partnership with API Events to assist in organising the API Hospitality Forum, which debuted at the API Summit 2022. The success of this event led to the rollout of hospitality forums/panels in API events across Africa. Troughton notes the sponsorship of the API event aligns with HTI Consulting’s strategy to grow its already extensive market reach in Africa and has enabled it to collaborate with diverse industry colleagues, developers and investors across the continent. “Most importantly our creative and exciting panels have provided direction for successful investment and operations within a sector that is often more complex than traditional real estate assets.”   

The fascinating agenda transverses topical territory from unlocking institutional funding for hospitality projects to conservation and growth in the safari industry. Speakers will shine a light on the latest developments in diverse hospitality types from aparthotels to resorts, as well as venture into the realm of technology and explore its potential for the sector.

Ram Lokan, Principal – Investments at Kasada Capital Management, an independent real estate private equity platform dedicated to the hospitality industry in Africa, says, “API brings together the leading industry professionals across the hospitality sector on the continent. In addition, we hear from the most active participants their latest thinking on what moves the industry. It’s a must-attend.”

Setting the stage for the future of hospitality on the continent, the API Hospitality Forum will take place on 11 October 2023 at The Marriot Hotel, Melrose Arch, Joburg, South Africa. For more information and to register for the API Hospitality Forum visit