German chamber membership helps hotel grow market share

SILVERBIRCH HOTEL Birchwood’s new business-focused hotel caters for business travelers

19th June 2015

By: Pimani Baloyi

Creamer Media Writer


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Local hotel and business conference facility provider Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre has grown its market reach since it became a member of the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC), as part of its strategy to attract more Germany-based business people.

The company has been a member of SAGCC since 2012.

“As a member, we benefit from the networking platform provided, as we have the opportunity to meet new clients with conferencing and accommodation requirements,” says Birchwood CEO Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo.

She tells Engineering News that the company’s SAGCC membership has enabled Birchwood to understand how companies decide to do business in South Africa, as well as the policies that impact on the decision to trade in the country, which has subsequently assisted the company in its market-segment planning.

She adds that other members of the SAGCC are booking to use the hotel’s facilities.

Sangweni-Siddo further highlights that, while the SAGCC is the only chamber of which Birchwood is an official member, the company has business relationships with other organisations, such as the Southern African Development Community, which enables the company to network with companies that might need conferencing and accommodation facilities.

Birchwood was established in 1998, with 86 rooms and a few conference rooms. The hotel currently comprises 665 rooms and more than 60 conferencing facilities.

Sangweni-Siddo tells Engineering News that, after receiving feedback from its clients, the company in March opened a 153-room dedicated business hotel, the Silverbirch, at its hotel facility in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, following a R20-million renovation and refurbishment investment.

She says Silverbirch is a fully upgraded facility developed for discerning business travellers: “We listened and considered what our business travellers really wanted, which included excellent service, unwavering quality and a well-equipped haven to recharge in peace and comfort.”

This also prompted the decision to locate the hotel separately on a quiet section of the Birchwood premises, adds Sangweni-Siddo.

The business hotel has a dedicated check-in area at the main reception and a business centre, with all the rooms featuring free, high-speed WiFi Internet access.

Silverbirch also has its own dining restaurant, The Grill @ OneTwenty, as well as a breakfast restaurant, the Petit Centre.

Edited by Samantha Herbst
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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