Soon after winning the regional Gold Award (Africa), BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central was announced as the official winner of the esteemed WTM Responsible Tourism Global Award. The announcement was made on 7 November at the WTM London event, much to the delight of all the attendees. Guy Stehlik, CEO of BON Hotels, received the award on behalf of the hotel’s staff and its GM, Pieter Van Rooyen.
“Fifty years on and BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central is still rated as one of the best hotels in South Africa,” said Stehlik. “And while it has a long history and strong roots in the Bloemfontein community, it’s ahead of the curve when it comes to issues of empowerment, sustainability, and responsible tourism.”
Situated in the popular Bloem Plaza shopping centre in the Free State’s capital city, BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central has long been celebrated for its commitment to optimising guest experience. Moreover, the hotel has sustainability at its core with a focus on increasing diversity in tourism. It boasts a unique shareholding structure, a world-class training and development programme, and a long-standing partnership with Towers of Hope, an NGO that is located across the street from the hotel and that works to improve the lives of marginalised citizens in the inner-city of Bloemfontein.
“Looking at the calibre of all the nominees, we were absolutely honoured to receive the regional WTMRT Gold Award and even more so to scoop the Global Award. The recognition for the work that we’ve put in feels wonderful, but the real joy comes from knowing that our efforts are truly making a difference in the lives of our staff members and of those within our community,” comments Van Rooyen.
BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central boasts an inclusive workplace, and everyone working in the hotel, from the cleaners to the managers, has a share in its success. The hotel is owned by three shareholders, with the remaining 51% of the shares in the business being allocated to staff.
“The staff have ownership, which facilitates staff retention through development and promotion—and enhances service delivery. Most of our management team have progressed through the ranks,” explains Van Rooyen.
There’s no doubt that BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central is one of the most respected hotels within BON’s expansive portfolio, and it sets the standards for all the others to follow.
“We’re very proud of BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central’s recent achievements and send our heartiest congratulations to each and every member of the team. We look forward to seeing how this hotel and all the others within our portfolio will continue to make their mark on the African tourism industry and in the hearts of all who visit our magical continent,” concludes Stehlik.