9 May 2011

City Lodge CEO named top tourism business leader

Chief Executive Officer of the City Lodge Hotels group, Clifford Ross, was voted top tourism business leader at the 2011 Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA).

Clifford Ross, 2nd from left, is the winner of the 2011 HICA Tourism Business Leadership Award. Clifford Ross, 2nd from left, is the winner of the 2011 HICA Tourism Business Leadership Award.

It’s important that we share our knowledge with newcomers in the industry, mentor them, and grow the next crop of leaders. - Clifford Ross, CEO, City Lodge Hotels

Clifford Ross, City Lodge Hotels' CEO, has won the 2011 HICA Tourism Business Leadership Award.

This was announced on the last day of the Hotel Investment Conference Africa (HICA), held on 5 and 6 May at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mmatsatsi Marobe, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), congratulated Ross and praised him as a true visionary.

'When you consider how the City Lodge brand has grown over the years, it is not hard to see why Clifford Ross emerged as the winner for this year's leadership award,' she said.

Ross commented that with his many years of experience in the hospitality industry, he feels it important to give back to the industry and help it move forward.

'I think it's important that we share our knowledge with newcomers in the industry, mentor them, and grow the next crop of leaders,' he said.

Since his appointment as CEO in 2002, the City Lodge Hotels group has grown from 35 hotels with 3 700 rooms in 2003 to its current portfolio of 52 hotels with 6 400 rooms.  The group includes brands such as the Road Lodge, Town Lodge, City Lodge and Courtyard Hotels.

Marobe cited Ross' humility and his company's strong focus on human resource development as 2 key qualities that set him apart.

During his brief acceptance speech, Ross dedicated the award to each and every person working at City Lodge for 'making me look good'.

'The HICA awards aim to honour and recognise companies and individuals who are making an extraordinary contribution to lifting the profile of the travel and tourism sector. Clifford Ross is one such individual. We hope by recognising him, it will inspire many others to follow in his footsteps,' concluded Marobe.