City Lodge Hotels celebrates former CEO Clifford Ross’s induction into the Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA). The award is recognition for his contribution to the group and industry during his career.

FEDHASA marks its 75th anniversary as “the voice of hospitality in South Africa”.

Clifford joined City Lodge Hotels in 1987 and served until his early retirement in 2018, progressing from General Manager to Operations Director, Managing Director, and finally Chief Executive Officer.

During his career, Clifford was involved with several associations focused on shaping, guiding, and promoting the hospitality industry, including serving as FEDHASA deputy chairman.

Clifford says, “I started at the bottom in this industry in 1974, training in the kitchen and washing pots. It was so important that I got involved with industry associations to help me grow. Hospitality stands proud in everything it does and needs to be led by a body like FEDHASA, which recognises people with leadership potential in all fields of hoteliering.”

“With these new awards, FEDHASA has identified a new generation of people who are building their careers for the betterment of this industry, and rewarding them, as they so rightly deserve. I am very honoured by this recognition bestowed upon me and, by extension, City Lodge Hotels,” he continues.

“Being part of FEDHASA gives one insight into the challenges and opportunities across hospitality, as it contributes to other industry bodies including the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), and others. I loved sitting on those boards, giving guidance and informing meetings of the industry itself,” he notes.

FEDHASA’s board deals directly with government. Through FEDHASA, Clifford worked with several tourism ministers as well as ministers of other departments on issues impacting tourism like Black Economic Empowerment, hotel grading, and smoking legislation.

“There is always a team behind awards,” says Clifford, congratulating the City Lodge Hotels managers recognised as runners-up; General Manager Ian Laughland at City Lodge Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport; Facilities Manager of the Year Raymond Cripps at City Lodge Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport and; Culinary Excellence Trevor Boyd, General Manager, Food and Beverage Operations

“These are fantastic team members, professionals with direction and purpose, keen to be the best in their field of management. Through recognition like this we are going to entice the younger generation to become something bigger and better in this industry, and to give back,” enthuses Clifford.

Team building and mentorship are integral to City Lodge Hotels’ approach to grow leaders passionate about the industry and brand. One of its initiatives is the Accelerated Development and Deployment Program, which identifies and fast-tracks team members with strong management potential. The group also drives employee development through in-house training programmes and internships.

“After this industry’s recent challenges, this new momentum from FEDHASA reviving its awards is needed. Ultimately, our valued guests will benefit,” he concludes.