The 2018 financial year is one to forget for City Lodge, with incoming CEO Andrew Widegger saying the hotel group’s core customer — the business traveller — had made much fewer visits than anticipated due to a weak economy. "The anticipated pick-up in business after Jacob Zuma left office just didn’t happen. We haven’t seen business people renting rooms for conferences and the like as much as we hoped," said Widegger as he commented on financial results for the year ended June, which were released on Thursday. As much as 70% of City Lodge’s revenue comes from business travellers and these customers paid fewer visits to City Lodge’s 54 South African hotels and other accommodation in the year to June, sending group revenue down 1% to R1.5bn. South African occupancies decreased to 61% from 63%. "Trading conditions at our 54 hotels have been hurt by … low confidence and this has been exacerbated by the lack of clarity on the policy of land expropriation without compensation," Widegger s...

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