South Africa Timeshares and Tourism are Growth Industries

Cornerstone of South African hospitality industry announces expansion plan.

According to statistics compiled by the South African government, travel to South Africa was up more than 26 percent in April 2006, as compared to the same month, 2005. Travel by international tourists showed a 13 percent increase. Overall, in 2005, nearly 7.4 million international visitors to South Africa spent 53.4 billion rand (about 6.8 billion USD).

CEO Alan Gooderson of the Gooderson Leisure Group, based in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, says revenues at his company are expected to increase 35 percent next year while tourism in general in South Africa is projected to grow by 6 percent over the next ten years. Tourism ranks third, behind gold and diamonds, in the South African national economy, contributing about 9 percent.

Gooderson Leisure provides lodging, food, beverage, and restaurant services to its resorts in the Drakensberg and northern KwaZulu-Natal regions. Gooderson also has a strong presence in the South African timeshare industry and owns Goodfin, as a wholly owned subsidiary, which provides financing to timeshare buyers. Monies lent by Goodfin to timeshare buyers, to date, equal approximately 11 million rand (1.4 million USD).

In the late 1970’s, the Gooderson family de-listed their company from public trading on the bourse (the French word South Africans use to describe their stock market). At about this same time, son Alan Gooderson bought out the interests of his brothers and other family members, downsized the company’s holdings and began to aggressively look for ways to rebuild a stronger company. Timeshares proved to be one of Gooderson’s solutions.

Natal Spa, South Africa

Today the company owns two game lodges, two resorts, two urban hotel properties, and six timeshare resorts in South Africa, including the recently acquired Natal Spa, the Tropicana and Beach Hotels in Durban, and the Fairways timeshare resort at Drakensberg Gardens. Gooderson, with the management assistance of his two daughters and their husbands, is looking to dramatically expand the company’s holdings, starting with additional timeshare units at the Fairways. Other resorts may be built in the area of Cape Town, with a particular focus on acquiring timeshare properties.

As part of Gooderson Leisure’s growth plan and the objective of seeking new investment capital, on September 27, 2006, the company re-listed on the Alternative Exchange, commonly known as the AltX. The AltX is South Africa’s alternative stock market, primarily dealing in listings of small to medium-sized growth businesses.