05 Nov Thebe Tourism Group and Nelson Mandela Foundation announce creation of Nelson Mandela Presidential Centre
On the sidelines of World Travel Market (WTM) in London, Thebe Tourism Group CEO, Jerry Mabena announced an exciting new project which will form part of TTG’s expanding portfolio. The group is making huge strides for the South African international and domestic tourism sectors, through sustainable tourism and innovative, iconic development.
During an intimate breakfast on 6 November, attended by global tourism leaders including UNWTO Secretary General: Dr Rifai, Princess Dana of Jordan, and other widely accredited leaders, Mabena announced the collaboration of Thebe Tourism Group and The Nelson Mandela Foundation in the creation of The Mandela Presidential Centre.
“One of South Africa’s biggest exports is our beloved President Nelson Mandela. At Thebe we not only revere him as the founder of the democratic state of SA – he is also one of our founding fathers. We have undertaken a project in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to create a special retreat and reflection hotel where he retired after his presidency – The Mandela Presidential Centre.” Said Jerry Mabena, CEO, Thebe Tourism Group.
The Conversion of Nelson Mandela’s primary residence into a place of scholarship and reflection, is to create an avenue that will provide visitors with additional insights into the Mandela Heritage, through an experience that is inspired by the icon’s life and times while he resided and worked at the property.
The Mandela Presidential Centre will be a nine-bedroom boutique hotel that will attract a primary market of high-end business travelers and the diplomatic corps and scholars from around the world, and a secondary group of leisure travelers from around the world. When completed, the hotel will offer a fine dining restaurant where Nelson Mandela’s cook, Ms Xoliswa Ndoyiya, will share his favorite meals with the visitors to the hotel.
The attractiveness of the site is that it offers visitors an opportunity to stay in the former residence of Nelson Mandela – not only South Africa’s first black president, but the first democratically elected one. Mandela remains a global icon and symbol for peace and reconciliation.
The development showcases the economic potential and sustainability of refurbishing the Nelson Mandela property in Johannesburg, and is expected to be ready for business in 2019.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a key stakeholder in this development, as the property owners, and the hotel will provide an experience inspired by Madiba’s life and times while he resided and worked at the property.
“Nelson Mandela was a walker and a traveller who made a difference in the lives of those he met and those he travelled with. He had an impact on the places he touched and left a part of His beloved land wherever he went. May we continue to be the travellers who make a difference. The Mandela Presidential Centre will be a reflection of this – we are delighted to be able to open the doors to Madiba’s former residence and look forward to sharing it with the world. We could not have wanted a more fitting partner than Thebe Tourism Group in honouring the Mandela legacy in this project” said Sello Hatang, CEO of Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“We are extremely excited at taking on a truly unique project in with such an iconic status. We believe the country’s tourism potential has only just been tickled, and by creating products which enhance the scenic beauty and global political importance, more people will be enticed to explore tourism offerings in South Africa” Mabena added.
Thebe Tourism Group invests in the development of iconic tourism attractions or destinations that benefit people, and transform the sector – benefitting both sustainable tourism as well as the communities where the projects are based. All projects use locally-sourced resources and community partnerships.
About The Nelson Mandela Foundation
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work, founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999. They are the custodian of his life and times; a committed facilitator of his living legacy; and they are mandated to promote his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all. The Nelson Mandela Foundation delivers to the world an integrated, dynamic and trusted resource on the legacy of Nelson Mandela and, with this, their mandate to promote his vision and work by convening dialogues and creating platforms for engagement around critical issues to promote social justice. Their vision, like that of their founder, Nelson Mandela, and the movement he spearheaded, is to contribute to the making of a just society that remembers its past, listens to all voices, and pursues social justice for all.
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