Africa’s Tourism Recovery Begins


Sub-Saharan Africa is poised to see a recovery in its tourism trade. According to figures from FowardKeys – which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day – there was an increase of 6.4% in international arrivals in September, marking a turning point, after 4 years of strong growth were wiped out by the Ebola outbreak, with flight suspensions from August 2014. Bookings for the next six months suggest a sustained recovery. The data shows Arrivals On-The-Book from October 2015 to March 2016 are now running 4% ahead, compared to the same period last year.

AHIF also saw the announcement of several new hotel development projects in Africa from Carlson Rezidor, Hilton, Marriott, Movenpick and Starwood plus reports from leading consultants highlighting substantial opportunities for hotel development across the continent.  Summaries of these news stories follow:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts: Aggressive expansion

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced aggressive expansion in Africa and Indian Ocean, increasing its market penetration across the region. Today the company has a strong footprint with 34 operating hotels and a robust pipeline of 20 hotels under development. With the expansion of its luxury, upper upscale and mid-market brands, Starwood will grow its portfolio by over 50% in the next five years, with more than 50 hotels operating and nine out of its 10 compelling lifestyle brands flying their flag in the region.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts: 3 New Properties

MHR Hotel Abijan

MHR Hotel & Residences Nairobi

MHR Hotel & Conference Centre Abuja

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will debut in three new African markets over the next four years as its plans to establish a presence in key cities across the continent’s thriving Sub-Saharan region come to fruition.  Increasing its Africa portfolio to 28 properties strong, MH&R will open three upscale hotels across Kenya in East Africa and Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa, between 2016 and early 2019.

Carlson Rezidor: New Radisson Blu Residence in Nairobi

Carlson Rezidor, one of the largest and most dynamic hotel groups worldwide, continues to strengthen its presence in Africa, the company’s most important growth market. The group announced the first Radisson Blu Residence in Nairobi/Kenya: the property with 123 units will be located adjacent to the State House and welcome the first guests in late 2016. It is Carlson Rezidor’s third project in Nairobi and at the same time the group’s fifth Radisson Blu residence in Africa – a growing segment that will be deployed further in capital cities across the continent.

Hilton Worldwide: New Awassa Resort in Addis Ababa

Hilton has announced the upscale Hilton Awassa Resort & Spa which is expected to open in 2020. The 169 room and villa resort will join Hilton Addis Ababa which has been at the forefront of Ethiopian hospitality for more than 45 years. The new property, agreed with Sunshin‎e Business PLC, will occupy a prime position on Lake Awassa and provide renowned Hilton service to both leisure and business guests. The signing marks Hilton Worldwide surpassing 20,000 rooms either trading or under development across Africa.

Marriott: Opening of Executive Apartments in Addis Ababa

Marriott International in partnership with Sunshine Business, opened Africa’s first Marriott Executive Apartments in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Marriott Executive Apartments Addis Ababa will appeal to both business and family travellers with 108 fully serviced apartments offering space, ambience and the privacy of residential living enabling a comfortable stay away from home.  Located in the heart of Ethiopia’s capital, the Marriott Executive Apartments Addis Ababa is just off Meskel Square in Bole, and is adjacent to the UN-ECA headquarters and conference center.  It is a ten minute drive away from Bole International Airport, the African Union headquarters and the Ethiopian National Museum.

Hotel Partners Africa: Top Ten Opportunities for Hotel Investors

In the African Hotel Report 2015, Hotel Partners Africa identified the top ten opportunities for investors keen to develop hotels in Africa. In West Africa, Nigeria presents the biggest opportunity, with the strongest economy on the continent matched with only 34 branded hotel bedrooms per million, population. To set this into context, this compares with 6,754 branded hotel bedrooms per million population in North America and 2,432 bedrooms per million in Europe. Ghana with 59 bedrooms and Cote D’Ivoire with 61 bedrooms also present great opportunities with very strong unrequited demand.

HVS: African Hotel Sector Reaches a New Level of Maturity

Growth in the African hotel sector has reached a new level of maturity with less reliance on foreign visitors and increased demand from local businesses. The 2015 African Hotel Valuation Index, published to coincide with the Africa Hotel Investment Conference reports that African hotel brands such as Azalai, City Lodge and Protea are trading well, with a number of hotel investors showing faith in the continent.

You can download a copy of 2015 African Hotel Valuation Index by Tim Smith and Sophie Perret here.

JLL: Improved Investment Potential of Hotels in Africa

JLL’s latest thought leadership research paper ‘Spotlight on Africa: Opportunity on the Horizon’ explores the investment potential of hotels in Africa, which has improved significantly over the past decade, though it is not without its challenges. The growth drivers for the hotel sector in Africa include improving fiscal management, favourable demographics (a population of 1.1billion), rapid urbanisation, a growing middle class, rich commodity and energy resources, considerable infrastructure investment and increased tourism.

To download the report, click here.


Best Western Hotels & Resorts: New Brand Image

Best Western reveals completely new look to showcase decades of success, as part of this rebranding, Best Western is focused on contemporising the look of the company, and placing more of an emphasis on all six of the company’s hotel brands. In another major move to better represent the quality and variety of its offerings, Best Western International will be renamed Best Western Hotels & Resorts and use a new logo to identify the master company for its six distinct brands.

Source: Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2015 in Addis Ababa


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