Africa: the hotel industry continues to expand

Cairo, Africa’s top business destination (photo: Flickr)

Among the priorities of many international groups, the hotel industry in Africa continues to grow. The W Hospitality group, in its 15e annual study, predicts the imminent opening of nearly 500 new establishments on the continent. This specialist in the African hotel industry has studied the development of local chains and international groups and identifies 482 hotel projects. That is a “pipeline” of 84,427 rooms, up 5% compared to 2022. New rooms in preparation from north to south of the continent which will soon be available to business travellers, 45% to be accessible by the end of 2024.

Driven both by the emergence of a new administrative capital near Cairo and by new resorts in Sharm El Sheikh and Ain Sokhna, Egypt concentrates nearly a third of future rooms for a total of 103 hotels in preparation. A number higher than the cumulative number of hotels expected in Nigeria and Morocco, the two countries with the largest number of hotel projects after Egypt. Like the country as a whole, the agglomeration of Greater Cairo is also the most dynamic among the metropolises of the continent, alone representing 12% of the global pipeline.

After opening a St Regis hotel two years ago, several major luxury brands have met in the new administrative capital in the years to come, such as Four Seasons, Sofitel or even InterContinental. In recent days, the IHG group has just announced the continuation of its expansion in New Cairo with two hotels under construction within the Arabella Plaza complex. One will be completed next July – the voco Cairo Arabella Plaza – while the other, the Crowne Plaza Cairo Arabella Clubhouse, is expected in 2026. Two hotels naturally equipped with vast meeting spaces. At the same time, “historic” Cairo will also welcome new establishments, notably from the side of the Hilton group with the Waldorf Astoria Cairo Heliopolis and the Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi. For its part, Mandarin Oriental is preparing to revive one of the city’s legends, the Shepheard Hotel.

If Cairo is in the spotlight, other major cities expect to see their offer expand dyears the years to come. Addis Ababa and Lagos among those with the largest number of projects, but also Nairobi, Abuja, Abidjan or Algiers: all these major cities on the continent have between 2,000 and 4,000 rooms in the pipeline.

Lagos, another of the African metropolises mainly targeted by hoteliers.
Lagos, another of the African metropolises mainly targeted by hoteliers.

While the African hotel industry can base its development on several local players such as Mangalis, Azalai or Onomo, the major international groups remain the main drivers of this growth. First world group, Marriott is also one of the main hoteliers in Africa since its acquisition of the South African group Protea. Similarly, Accor is also widely represented from north to south of the continent, supported by the Kasada investment platform for its development in sub-Saharan Africa. These two groups will further strengthen their offer since the Marriott pipeline is strong with 123 hotels in preparation, under the Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton and Protea brands in particular. On his side, Accor’s pipeline encompasses nearly 90 establishmentsunder the brands Swissôtel, Novotel and Fairmont among others, but also Rixos for luxury resorts.

But behind these two spearheads, other big names in the global hotel industry are not hiding their ambitions on the continent. This is the case of Hilton whose pennant and eponymous brand is the one that counts the most ongoing projects in Africa with nearly 30 Hiltons in the development phase, while also relying on the DoubleTree brand to expand its footprint.

Similarly, the Radisson group has made Africa one of its main areas of growth and is accelerating its development. In the past two years alone, Radisson opened 14 hotels and concluded 25 other projects. Among the openings expected in 2023, a first hotel in Ghana, new establishments in Morocco – in Casablanca, Taghazout and Saidia -, but also in Tunis and Lusaka, in Zambia. The Radisson group is thus aiming for the bar of 150 hotels in operation or in preparation over the next five years, compared to 100 today.

However, he is not the only one to take a closer look at development opportunities on the continent, groups such as Hyatt, Pan Pacific and Wyndham all having advanced implementation projects. Opportunities that extend to long stays since the world leader in this segment, Ascott, has a dozen projects in progress, including upcoming openings of residences in Abidjan, Casablanca, Dakar, Lagos and Nairobi. As Trevor J. Ward, Group Managing Director of W Hospitality, notes: “ We remain optimistic about the future growth of the hospitality industry in Africa. And we are not the only ones!«

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.