Rock Bottom

BON Hotels Blog - Rock bottom

I simply cannot avoid a topic that’s been weighing heavily on all of us these past few weeks. I’ve noticed a profound change in our demeanor: we as a nation are down, depressed, and dragging our heels and our hearts through this very tough time. In fact, such negativity on all media channels available to us has made many countrymen reconsider their options here. No one can be surprised or cast blame.

As a country, we seem to have hit rock bottom: high level corruption, parastatal failures, escalating crime, vicious murder, rampant AIDS, lack of border control, government meddling, load shedding and horrendous xenophobic attacks on immigrants and refugees. Can it possibly get any worse?

Government is compromising our new democracy in a big way. As an example in the hotel industry, the tourism sector stands dumbfounded as we see tourism teeter on dangerous ground. Recent visa controls placed on our inbound market, followed by reluctance to reconsider or remedy legislation, has resulted in our Chinese and Indian markets slashed by more than 50% over the last quarter according to reports. Throughout boardrooms, corridors, coffee shops and Facebook feeds, an increasing dissatisfaction from businesses, friends and colleagues is evident. The big question: where to from here?

I’m reminded of a beautiful line from poet (musician) Sting; ‘then let me build a bridge for I cannot fill the chasm,’ countered by the famous words of John F Kennedy, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” What can we as South African citizens do to effect the change we so desperately need?

It’s easy to retreat into our laagers, try and live in ignorant bliss and believe a knight in shining armour is on his way. But hey, how long do we wait? Our country is on its knees; we are in a crisis which is soon going to have an ever more profound effect on our economy, our direct incomes and our happiness. It’s easy to talk in platitudes, but where are the real solutions?

I’ve toiled with these questions for days. I know in my own personal experience, that ‘rock bottom’ is sometimes the necessary place to start; acknowledging that we are at the bottom provides the foundation for the next step, which can only be upward, or at least forward.

I don’t have the solutions, BUT I do have the belief that provided there are enough brave people standing up, speaking out and refusing to accept vitriol  from our leadership, using public forums to disagree, debate and contest, there will always be hope. And hope is real. Hope can be transformed into much needed respect and ultimately…change…

It starts with me and you.


Chief Executive Officer

Having grown up in the corridors and reception areas of Cape Town hotels, Guy Stehlik is no stranger to the hospitality industry.


10 000-hour rule 2014 2015 3 Star Hotel 5-star hotels africa African countries African Development African Experience African Opportunities Art of War asia Bank investment Big City Deals BON Academy and Training Institute BON Bill of Rights BON Blitz BON Ethos BON Hotels BON Principles BON STARS BONami Bosses Budget Budgets Business Business Coach Business Relationships Business Rescue Business Travellers Call Centre Cape Town Cape Town Hotels in the CBD Career Day Careers Cash Flow Citizen M Client Colleagues Company Culture Company Start Up Core Values Corporate Corporate traveller Corruption Creating Jobs Cruise Liner Industry Debtors Democracy Distressed Hotel Distressed Hotels Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs EXCO meetings Family Entertainment Food and Beverage foreign General Manager General Managers Generation Y Get the basics right Global Crisis Goals Good People Government Government initiatives Gratitude Green-fielding growth Guest comment Guest expectations Guests HICA Conference Home life hospitality Hospitality Company Hospitality Group Hospitality Industry Hospitality Industry Leaders Hospitality Industry; Statistics; Value-for-money; Government; Holiday; Tourism Hospitality Sector Hotel agreements Hotel basics Hotel contracts Hotel Design Hotel Developers Hotel Developments Hotel Guests Hotel Industry Hotel Investment Conference Africa Hotel Management Hotel Management Company Hotel Management Contract Hotel Management Contracts Hotel Management Personnel Hotel Management; Lease Agreements; Portfolio of Hotels; Management Companies Hotel Operator Hotel Operators Hotel Owners Hotel Rooms Hotel School Hotel take over Hoteliers Hotels Industry Events Industry exhibitions and events International brand International Hotel Brand International Hotel Brands International Hotels It's my Biz Job-seekers Kwazulu Natal Leader Life Lessons Local hotels Local Markets local travellers Lockdown Long-haul Destination Loyalty Programme Loyalty programs Management Company Management Experience Marketing Strategies Mentoring Mentors Millenials mobile most outrageous job Namib-Cape Route Namibia Nedbank Networking new markets New projects nigeria ONOMO Hotels Operations organic growth organisation Outliers Owner's Bill of Rights owner-staff-guest-centric company Partnerships in Hospitality passion Plan Profitable Business Proposals Public Relations Publicity Relationships Resort Management Return on Ego Return on Investment Revenue Sales skills Sales Team Senior Management Sharing Economy Small Towns social media south africa South African Banks South African Government; Politics; Department of Home Affairs; Investors; Tourism South African Tourism South Africans Staff Staff movements Strategic Planning Student life Survey Talent Targets Team member Technology Teen Entertainment Third part agent tourism Tourism Industry Tourism markets Trade Shows Training travel trends Value Value adds Value for money Values Verbal abuse; Racial abuse Visa West Africa Wi-Fi Women in the workplace Work hours Xenophobia Young Talent Zambia


12% off when you
book online via

You’ve got this in the bag!

Book Now

Hotel Reservations