This year marks our 20th birthday; a momentous occasion for the Birchwood family. Over the years, we’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry, based on a variety of local and international trends, events and circumstances. Few have a better understanding of SA’s potential in this sector than our Directors Kevin Clarence and Jazzman Mahlakgane.

“The key to our success is our strong foundation, centred around convenience, customer feedback and always tailoring our offering to the needs of the modern business traveller,” says Kevin, who founded the hotel with his late father Brian Clarence.

According to Bizcommunity.com the majority of first time visitors coming to SA are on a business trip. Hosting one million delegates, the South African National Convention Bureau reports that it supports over 250 000 jobs every year.

Starting from humble beginnings to becoming the largest and busiest conferencing facility in the southern hemisphere, we play host to many of these travellers who are attending events in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions space (MICE tourism).

“We started out with just 86 rooms and one conference room. Every year saw new developments and as a result, we’ve been fortunate enough to create employment opportunities in the East Rand and every year our staff compliment grows,” says Jazzman.

When asked what the key to the hotel’s success was, both directors agreed that it is not as much about size, positioning and investment into development, as it is about people.

“We believe that our standard of excellence is maintained through our staff, the people that come to work every day feeling proud to be a part of our family and hold the Birchwood flag high when dealing with visitors. It is them who enable us to contribute meaningfully to SA’s tourism sector,” says Kevin.