HO­TEL CHAIN growth soars by 30% in AFRICA

Tourism Tattler - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

The num­ber of planned ho­tel chain rooms in Africa has soared to 64,000 in 365 ho­tels, up al­most 30% on the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures from the an­nual W Hospitality Group Ho­tel Chain Devel­op­ment Pipe­line Sur­vey.

The in­crease is largely down to strong growth in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, which is up 42.1% on 2015 and is sig­nif­i­cantly out­strip­ping North Africa which achieved only a mod­est 7.5% pipe­line in­crease this year.

A ma­jor shake-up in the rank­ings by coun­try saw An­gola, never before listed among the top 10, push Egypt out of sec­ond place, due to a ma­jor deal there signed by Ac­corHo­tels.

The W Hospitality Group sur­vey is pub­lished ahead of the African Ho­tel In­vest­ment Fo­rum (AHIF), which is or­gan­ised by Bench Events. The con­fer­ence at­tracts all the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional ho­tel in­vestors in Africa and is be­ing held for the first time in Lomé on 21-22 June. A sec­ond AHIF will also take place in Ki­gali, Rwanda on 4-6 Oc­to­ber.

Trevor Ward, W Hospitality Group manag­ing di­rec­tor, said: “The ev­i­dence from our sur­vey is clear - in­vestors re­main con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of the hospitality in­dus­try on the con­ti­nent. Even when pum­melled daily by low com­mod­ity prices, ex­change rate problems, po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges and poor in­fra­struc­ture, Africa re­mains re­silient.”

The IMF fore­cast for economic growth in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa is for an in­crease of 4% this year and 4.7% in 2017, up from 3.5% in 2015. Over­all this is down on the 5-6% in­crease en­joyed over the past decade, but it's still dou­ble or more the fore­cast for the world's ad­vanced economies, such as Europe, the USA and Ja­pan.

De­tailed anal­y­sis

This is the eighth an­nual pipe­line sur­vey, widely recog­nised as the most au­thor­i­ta­tive source on ho­tel in­dus­try growth in Africa, par­tic­u­larly in re­veal­ing data on in­ter­na­tional chains sign­ing new deals. The 2016 sur­vey pro­vides a full pic­ture of ho­tel devel­op­ment across the con­ti­nent - 36 ho­tel chains and 86 brands with more than 64,000 rooms in 365 ho­tels.

In com­par­i­son to fig­ures from the in­au­gu­ral sur­vey in 2009, it's pos­si­ble to see how far ho­tel devel­op­ment in Africa has come. In 2009 there were 19 in­ter­na­tional and re­gional ho­tel chains con­tribut­ing, with a pipe­line of 144 ho­tels and just under 30,000 rooms.

Over­all in the 2016 re­port, it's An­gola that dom­i­nates. In July last year, Ac­corHo­tels signed with AAA Ac­tivos LDA for the man­age­ment of 50 ho­tels with around 6,200 rooms. All are under con­struc­tion and many are ready to open.

Across the con­ti­nent, the north-south di­vide on ho­tel devel­op­ment con­tin­ues. In 2011, the num­ber of pipe­line rooms in the five coun­tries of North Africa was about 25 per cent higher than that in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. To­day, it is less than half.

Trevor Ward ex­plained: “There are two rea­sons why devel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity in North Africa is now some­what sub­dued. Firstly, the mar­kets there are more ma­ture and have al­ready seen much devel­op­ment, so there are fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties for new ho­tels. Se­condly, there is the po­lit­i­cal tur­moil – in Libya, which has seen a 40% drop in the pipe­line, and also Egypt, parts of which are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dras­tic re­duc­tions in the num­ber of tourists.”

The 2016 sur­vey will be dis­cussed in de­tail at AHIF in Lomé in June. Matthew Weihs, said: “The 30% in­crease in the ho­tel devel­op­ment pipe­line is as­ton­ish­ing and clearly demon­strates that Africa still has fan­tas­tic po­ten­tial for fur­ther growth.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the AHIF web­site at www.Africa-Con­fer­ence.com.

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