International travel often involves many wasted hours spent sitting around – uncomfortably, it must be said – at airports.
If the flight from Beijing to Johannesburg, for instance, arrives at 3am and the flight to Gaborone leaves at midnight, that’s an awfully long wait on those notoriously hard airport gate chairs.
So, what can the traveller facing the prospect of endless periods of hanging around do?
In the case of O.R. Tambo International, there’s an appealing solution. As Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager for Protea Hotels by Marriott explains: Johannesburg’s Airport plays host to Africa’s only transit hotel, the Protea Hotel Transit O.R. Tambo Airport; a hotel property available exclusively to passengers in transit. These are passengers caught within the international terminal of the airport, unable to leave that part of the airport while they sit out the time until their next flight, because they cannot pass through the immigration desk area if a visa is required.”
The transit hotel is a really unique offering – oddly enough, you won’t find anything similar if you travel via the world’s most popular cities like London or New York. In fact, there are only 11 such hotels in the world.
Africa’s busiest airport, O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg, has the capacity to handle up to 28 million passengers annually, and offers non-stop flights to all continents except Antarctica. The accessibility to international and regional flight routes is significant for people moving to and from other areas of Africa in terms of transport infrastructure.
A China-based business person attending contract negotiations in Botswana, for example, will find the most convenient travel route via Johannesburg, according to TripAdvisor. This logistical reality brings thousands of airline passengers to Johannesburg to pick up the best connecting flight to their ultimate destination.
“Providing the guest with a bedroom and bathroom, as well as access to a business lounge and free Wi-Fi, this is an option that ticks all the boxes,” Mabombo continues. “It’s also particularly attractive if you’re travelling with children. Having a place where they can put their heads down, watch TV or surf the internet is a far better way to keep them from getting bored. And when you just want to change into something more comfortable, it allows for a chance to rest and freshen up.” And, if the guest wants a meal or would like to do some shopping, the duty-free mall is close by.
This 87-room hotel is kept busy throughout the year – seasonality is not a factor for transit hotels. Booking rules are very flexible – for stays of 24 hours, the fixed overnight rates apply, but a guest can also stay for a few hours and is charged per hour. So, it’s perfect for the woman wanting to shower and change her outfit in comfort and privacy, and perhaps catch a little shut eye.
In addition to the planned bookings, the hotel serves an important role in providing for airline passengers stranded when bad weather or a mechanical fault has grounded or delayed a plane.
“Those who travel regularly can also sign up for and redeem their Marriott Bonvoy points for overnight stays,” Mabombo explains, “which is a particularly satisfying way to enjoy the Rewards – it provides a convenient extra when it’s most needed.”
To find out more, visit: http://www.marriott.com/jnbtr