July 16, 2024

A legacy of property development and leisure investment excellence

3 min read

Beekman Group is a pioneering force within the tourism industry, consistently setting the standard for property development and leisure investment excellence. With a family legacy spanning over five decades, the group has successfully evolved and further solidified its reputation as one of South Africa’s leading players in the hospitality sector.

A legacy of excellence

The group was founded by the dynamic duo of John and Bram Beekman, who began their business journey with a humble paint contracting business, Beekman Group Painters, in 1970. Their complementary strengths led to rapid growth, eventually becoming one of Johannesburg’s largest contracting companies. By 1980, the company had blossomed and was subsequently sold, marking the transition to their next venture.

Fiona Broom, marketing executive for Beekman Group, reflects on the company’s early days: “The partnership between John and Bram was destined for success. Their unique strengths created a formidable and solid partnership, which laid the foundation for the Beekman Group’s impressive growth.”

Entering the vacation ownership industry

Relocating to Durban in 1980, Bram and John ventured into the vacation ownership industry with their first development at Banana Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Affiliated with RCI (United Kingdom), this venture marked their entry into the local leisure industry and laid the foundation for the official launch of Beekman Group in 1981, a respected developer and marketing pioneer in vacation ownership. Their journey continued with the development of six vacation ownership resorts, including the Qunu Falls near Ixopo.

Revolutionising vacation ownership

In 1993, The Holiday Club was established in South Africa and soon expanded into Australia and Botswana. The introduction of a flexible points system transformed the concept of vacation ownership, providing members with a variety choices in southern Africa and overseas.

Broom emphasises the significance of this business development: “The Holiday Club’s innovative points system revolutionised the vacation ownership industry, giving members unprecedented flexibility and variety in their vacation options.”

More recently, Beekman Group has seized the potential of sectional title ownership as a contemporary alternative to traditional property investment models. Remaining at the forefront of this resurgent property market trend, the group boasts an array of high-end developments in picturesque locales, appealing to a diverse range of investor preferences.

As sectional title ownership gains prominence among buyers and investors, the group’s offerings stand out, providing individuals the opportunity to secure ownership of a luxury villa or unit within larger properties or developments. This approach grants access to shared amenities and a host of benefits, contributing to its growing popularity within the holiday home and tourism sector.

Diversification within the property industry

Having excelled in the leisure market, Beekman Group expanded into property development within the commercial and residential sectors. In 2002, the group diversified into commercial property development, catering to the needs of major commercial clients. These developments have an approximate market value of R495 million and can be found in major business hubs in the Western Cape and KZN.

A commitment to social responsibility

Beekman Group understands the importance of giving back to the communities and the environment that have contributed to its success. Through corporate social investment, the company focuses on social development, education, health, job creation and public service, aligning with its motto, “Our People, Our Planet”.

Additionally, the company actively promotes environmental conservation through recycling initiatives to minimise its ecological impact, and has been recognised for its efforts through accolades such as the Renewable Efficiency & Green Initiatives Award at the Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Awards 2023.

The future of leisure investment

Over the years, the company has received numerous awards in recognition of its contributions to the South African leisure industry. Broom says, “These awards are a testament to our dedication, industry excellence and positive impact on the economy, environment and community. We are honoured to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to excellence.”

Today, Beekman Group continues to excel and thrive within the property development and leisure investment sectors, and has been a pivotal contributor to the development of exceptional travel destinations. With expertise and a robust infrastructure, the group surpasses investor expectations while managing a diverse portfolio of R1.3 billion in local property investments, overseeing more than 40 vacation destinations spanning five countries, and catering to more than 80 000 members.

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