In May 2022, Radisson Hotel Group opened its first location in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The 154-room site is the first internationally branded five star hotel in the country. Ramsay Rankoussi, Radisson’s vice president for development in Africa and Turkey, explains the reasoning behind the decision.
Q: Why did you open the Radisson Blu Hotel in Juba?
A: We currently have almost 100 hotels in operation and under development across Africa, with more than 30 countries counting at least one of our brands. South Sudan represents a new market entry where we are the only international operator, and demonstrates our growth journey beyond any boundary.
We believe our hotels — especially in emerging markets — such as Juba act as catalysts of economic growth, driving various business activities, but also supporting trading and conventions within the public and private sectors. The Radisson Blu Hotel Juba will quickly become a place to meet, stay and exchange around the opportunities of the region. East Africa remains a strategic region due to the Belt and Road initiative, leveraging our presence in the Middle East.
Q: What opportunity did you see?
A: Tourism represents one of the largest contributors to gross domestic product worldwide, and the benefits are also indirect with the provision of other services and procurement of local supplies. We believe Juba will benefit from the same effects and we seek to position ourselves as a positive contributor to the local economy. We believe the region has vast potential representing opportunities from business to leisure locations, and with the improving accessibility, we foresee a growing need of quality hotel accommodation.
This article first appeared in the October/November 2022 print edition of fDi Intelligence. View a digital edition of the magazine here.