Exploring new ways of driving footfall at our properties

Established a group-wide events calendar. The sports and events division is exploring opportunities to create niche events at specific properties to drive spend at our properties

Offering our customers new experiences

We opened a SunBet retail outlet at Carnival City with GrandWest and Sibaya to follow shortly

Exploring opportunities to drive new Sun MVG signups

MVG sign ups grew by 5.2%. Continued to explore sign up opportunities, particularly with long-stay hotel guests

Continuing to improve customer service levels and create memorable experiences

Achieved a group-wide customer satisfaction rating of 80%

Enhancing Sun International’s digital marketing strategy to improve customer communication and analytics

Focused on encouraging direct customer bookings using retail leisure campaigns and promotions


Sun International’s purpose is to create memorable experiences for our customers, from their initial awareness stage, through the engagement process to the postexperience phase. We achieve this by instilling a customerfirst culture at our properties, which is reinforced through our values and the SunWay formula for success. Our guest satisfaction system encourages customers to rate their experience at each unit. Their comments provide qualitative and quantitative information to help us determine areas where we can improve, and where our strengths lie. Customer satisfaction scores are aligned to relevant employees’ key performance indicators (KPIs) to drive the correct behaviour. We have revised our customer questionnaires to ensure that they are still relevant, and we have a dedicated resource who directs customer satisfaction reports to appropriate managers to guarantee all complaints are closed out timeously and satisfactorily. We conduct ongoing customer service training at properties to enhance our service offering and customer experience and to empower staff in line with the group’s employee value proposition. To incentive employees we have introduced several unit-specific recognition awards and a service excellence programme that rewards employees for professional and excellent service. In addition, monthly roadshows are carried out to provide leadership visibility.

On average we achieved a medium to high customer satisfaction rating for most properties. Premium properties such as The Table Bay Hotel achieved excellent satisfaction ratings. Our average group rating for 2019 achieved the target rating of 80%. The group needs to ensure we maintain this level of service at all Sun International properties. Therefore, an across-the-board 85% customer satisfaction target has been set for 2020 (gaming and hospitality), against which all general managers will be measured to increase customer service levels. A target of 90% has been set for the gaming’s Privé customer satisfaction. Our brand specialist ensures that the group provides consistent experiences across all properties to attract and retain patronage.

With the new central office structure, we anticipate improved synergies across our gaming and hospitality divisions, which should also improve customer satisfaction levels.
Customer complaints about general service are addressed and resolved at each property. Most compliments are for exceptional service and friendly staff. Our automatic complaint escalation process ensures that each complaint is resolved in a timely and suitable manner. Our case management system in the call centre, that pre-emptively provides a customer’s history when they contact us, continues to improve customer service and satisfaction levels.
To drive footfall and gain maximum benefit from our properties, particularly in off-peak times, we continue to explore various marketing and promotion initiatives. A newly established group-wide events calendar aims to coordinate all property events to avoid crossovers and to exploit crosssell opportunities. With the restructure oursports, events, and entertainment team will be part of sales with a focus on driving footfall and spend at our properties for banqueting, gaming and accommodation. Sun International is also a partner in the Discovery loyalty programme. While Sun City’s SunPark remains operational, the SunParks at Carnival and Sibaya were no longer cost effective and will be closed in 2020.
We have realigned our digital department, which now resides within each customer segment. This alignment enables closer cooperation with marketing, sales and management to use our data optimally and make more informed decisions. There is still a lot to do in this space and we are confident that better use of our data and digital capabilities will ensure we drive more direct bookings and are able to better engage with our customers.
It is important to continually maintain and upgrade our iconic properties to ensure they provide guests with lasting memories. Sun City, arguably the most iconic property in our portfolio, continued with refurbishments to the Cascades, which are expected to be completed in October 2020.

A Palace mock-up room will be completed by the end of March 2020 and we expect that the Palace room’s refurbishment will be completed over the next three years. We are also evaluating the feasibility of converting six rooms into a spa to enhance our guests’ five-star experience. With Sun City celebrating its 40th year in operation, ongoing infrastructure maintenance is taking place to future proof the property.

The Sun City Vacation Club continues to enjoy high occupancy rates in excess of 80%. Phase two room refurbishments were completed in 2019, with no displacement of business or customer inconvenience. Sun International has also earmarked the Vacation Club as an opportunity to expand this timeshare offering to various locations such as the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. This will offer guests a variety of scenic beach, mountain and bush experiences. This will also position the group to open its own timeshare exchange, thereby making all iconic properties available to customers, and creating a rental income stream as part the group’s hotel inventory.

The group’s premium international online gaming software provider (Kambi) continues to enrich Sun International’s online sports betting offering, SunBet. During 2018, SunBet’s gaming software was improved to enhance the online user experience and range, increasing its sports content and betting market offering to cover over 241 000 (2018: 100 000) live in-play sports events annually. SunBet’s achieved positive results, increasing 25% (2018: 81%) in the number of bets placed and 67% (2018: 42%) in active users, which resulted in a 68% (2018: 57%) increase in gross gambling revenue (GGR). Going forward, plans are in place to better leverage our iconic properties’ gaming and hospitality offerings to further grow the SunBet market. In Latam, the group is in the process of launching a sports betting platform in Peru, which we expect to start trading in the second quarter of 2020.

With the new central office structure, we anticipate improved synergies across our gaming and hospitality divisions, which should also improve customer satisfaction levels.
Sun International continued to provide new products, update machines and refurbish our gambling floors to improve our customer experience and make the gambling floors more competitive. We have also reviewed our Free Play offering to tactically activate customer reward usage and we introduced a timeframe to redeem Free Play rewards

The Sun MVG tiered loyalty programme celebrated its silver anniversary (25 years) serving and rewarding our customers. This milestone was leveraged to create awareness and celebrate this loyalty programme by reiterating its benefits to both potential new and existing members through various interventions throughout the year across all properties.

The programme also creates a seamless customer experience at all touchpoints. While customers were encouraged to actively engage with our digital communication platforms, the opportunity to collect accurate data, understand customer behaviour and explore opportunities for improved customer service exceeded expectations. We are focused on exploring opportunities to drive new signups, particularly with longstay hotel guests, to encourage active participation through tiered rewards and benefits at Sun International’s properties. Sun International’s active MVG customer base of 408 510 at the end of December 2019 was up 5.2% on the prior period (2018: 388 234).

Sun International launched a strategic partnership with Resorts World at Sea – Crystal Cruises – to reward our most loyal MVG members. Depending on the customers MVG membership tier, they can qualify for a complimentary cruise of up to two weeks on Crystal Cruise’s Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony luxury ocean liners. In addition, Crystal Cruises also promotes Sun International’s gambling and hospitality offerings to attract international customers who can experience Sun International’s offerings in Cape Town and Durban at our iconic properties. Going forward, the group is considering prospects to expand this offering through other international operators.

During 2018, SunBet’s gaming software was improved to enhance the online user experience and range, increasing its sports content and betting market offering to cover over 241 000 (2018: 100 000) live in-play sports events annually.


  • Improving customer service to achieve our targeted satisfaction rate of 85% (gaming and hospitality) and 90% (Privé gaming customers) group-wide
  • Driving footfall through marketing, ongoing property refurbishments and new product offerings
  • Exploring opportunities to expand Sun International’s Vacation Club in new and complementary destinations
  • Considering options to sign-up with new international cruise line operators
  • Better leverage our iconic properties’ gaming and hospitality offerings to further grow the SubNet market