NAIROBI, KENYA—On the heels of the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) here, hospitality companies are revealing their activity on the continent. Here’s a look:
AccorHotels had a record year of development in Africa. Beginning with the 50% stake in the Mantis Group in April, followed by the announcement in late July of a dedicated Investment Fund with a targeted reach of $1 billion devoted toward sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa, the journey continued with the acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in September.
AccorHotels’ African network includes more than 150 hotels in operation, representing close to 27,000 rooms across 23 countries. Moving forward, the Investment Fund, in partnership with Katara Hospitality, will underscore growth and development for the region, providing a platform for a combined network of organic and acquisition reach of 250 hotels by 2025, according to the company.
Following the acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which added more than 50 hotels to the group’s Middle East and Africa portfolio, including the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra and Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Nairobi, Mark Willis was named CEO for AccorHotels Middle East & Africa.
Speaking at the Regional Leaders panel at AHIF, Willis outlined the group’s vision for Africa based on organic growth and development and a renewed focus on rebalancing AccorHotels’ presence in Africa with a focus on key cities and destinations in East and Southern Africa. He drew emphasis on the need for collaboration with local partners and to mobilize their expertise, intuitive knowledge and passion for community outreach, citing the Mantis Group as the perfect example of a hospitality leader in South Africa with genuine credentials in eco-tourism combined with wildlife conservation.
Over the course of the year, the group also opened flagship properties and signed key projects, including the first Fairmont flag in Morocco with the opening of the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech and the conversion of the ibis Styles Nairobi. Key signings included the combination Novotel and Adagio residences in Abidjan, Novotel Algiers, and two strategic projects in Lagos with the MGallery Ikoyi and Pullman Ikoyi.
The group also announced the first Pullman brand in Ghana to open in 2021—Pullman Accra Airport City—a mixed-use complex with Pullman Living.
As it continues to grow its presence in Africa by introducing new brands and entering new countries, Hilton revealed it is on track to more than double in size in the next five years with the opening of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton—the company’s first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Africa.
Legend Hotel Lagos Airport is located at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, which serves more than eight million passengers each year. The hotel is adjacent to the airport’s private jet terminal and has an exclusive immigration and customs desk in the hotel for private jet passengers. Handpicked to be part of the collection, the hotel joins more than 60 Curio Collection hotels around the world. This is Hilton’s first hotel in Lagos and its second in Nigeria, with an additional seven hotels in its development pipeline for the country.
Speaking ahead of the AHIF, Hilton’s President/CEO Chris Nassetta, said: “We continue to innovate in Africa with new brands and products, and we are pleased to introduce our Curio Collection brand here with the opening of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport. As the continent continues to undergo rapid urbanization, with the U.N. forecasting that the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035, this hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region.”
Hilton is seeing strong demand for its brands across the continent and expects to open eight hotels in total across Africa this year, three of which will fly under the Hilton Garden Inn flag. This brand appeals to the rising tide of middle class travelers into and across Africa and the company expects to open at least 16 Hilton Garden Inn hotels in the coming five years, including brand entries in Kampala, Ghana, Malawi, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and many other strategic locations across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Last year, Hilton launched the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative, which will support the conversion of existing hotels to Hilton brands with an investment of $50 million over five years. During that period, Hilton expects to secure 100 conversion opportunities with some 15,000-20,000 rooms added to its portfolio to meet the growing need for quality branded hotels across the continent.
The company is committed to growth and opportunity across Africa and has been a continuous presence on the continent since 1959. With 41 open hotels and 53 in its development pipeline in Africa, Hilton expects to double its footprint across the continent in the next five years. This includes market entries in 13 countries where it does not currently operate including Botswana, Ghana, eSwatini, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.
Radisson Hotel Group
Radisson Hospitality AB has signed 10 new hotels in Africa to date this year, accelerating its expansion across the continent.
Radisson Hotel Group today has 90 hotels and more than 18,000 rooms in operation and under development across 31 countries in Africa and plans to reach 130 hotels and more than 23,000 rooms by 2022.
“We strongly believe in Africa,” said Elie Younes, EVP/chief development officer with Radisson Hotel Group. “We’re thrilled to add 10 new hotels in just nine months. The transactions are strategically aligned to deliver our five-year development plan across the continent, the introduction of new brands and a scaled growth in Africa’s key destinations. So far this year, we’ll be adding more than 1,300 rooms to our portfolio in Africa, and we plan to continue this accelerated growth through further expansion in our focus markets across this flourishing continent.”
In addition to the Radisson Hotel & Apartments Abidjan Plateau and the Park Inn by Radisson Lusaka Longacres that were revealed earlier this year, the remaining eight new hotel deals include the following:
- Radisson Collection Ikoyi Lagos, Nigeria
- Radisson Hotel Lagos Ikeja, Nigeria
- Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartment Lagos VI, Nigeria
- Radisson RED Hotel Abidjan, Ivory Coast
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Casablanca
- Park Inn by Radisson Tunis, Tunisia
- Radisson Blu Hotel Niamey, Niger
- Radisson Blu Hotel Conakry, Republic of Guinea