Accor is seeking to fast-track its development plans in Africa, leveraging its expanded portfolio to consolidate its leadership position in the north and west of the continent.
The France-based group is taking a leading role in Africa’s evolving hospitality landscape.
Accor commands the largest market share in terms of keys, with more than 26,500 rooms across over 156 properties in 23 countries continent-wide and a pipeline of 54 hotels with over 10,386 rooms.
The group is on track to open 35 hotels in Africa by 2020, and has set a target of signing between 15 to 20 projects each year between now and 2025.
This strategy is bolstered by the recent Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts acquisition, a 50 per cent stake in South Africa’s Mantis Group, plus its creation of a joint US$1 billion investment fund with Katara Hospitality, based in Qatar, dedicated to hospitality projects in select Sub-Saharan African countries.
“Our expanded portfolio of more than 30 brands across the entire market spectrum – economy, midscale, upscale, luxury and high-end luxury – is a catalyst for growth in Africa; it means we have a range of hospitality options for every project in every destination across the continent,” said Mark Willis, chief executive officer, Middle East & Africa for Accor.
“Our brand offering, combined with our unparalleled market expertise, puts us in a strong position to meet our key development goals, namely consolidating our leadership position in North Africa and accelerating development in east and sub-Saharan Africa.
He added: “This will be achieved by maximizing opportunities for recent brand additions, including lifestyle concepts; identifying markets for branded residences and extended-stay projects – a segment in its relative infancy in Africa; and capitalising on the success of existing brands such as ibis, Novotel, Pullman, Sofitel and Fairmont, to name a few.”
Target growth markets include Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa; Ghana and Nigeria in west Africa; and Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, with a view to operating both stand-alone and multiple properties in one location such as mixed-use projects - the current focus of infrastructure development plans in many African locations.
In north Africa, the group is looking to pioneer hospitality concepts that are new to the market, with Fairmont branded residences already developed in Marrakesh and two more planned for Rabat and Taghazout, north of Agadir.
The development team is also eyeing prospects for lifestyle brands in Morocco and Tunisia, both considered mature hotel markets, as well as in South Africa.
Accor is working to establish extended-stay concepts in Africa too, recently announcing plans to debut its first Pullman Living property globally in Ghana.
Pullman Accra will be a dual hospitality offering in the premium segment, with 149 serviced apartments under the Pullman Living brand and a hotel with 214 rooms and suites.
Pullman is an upscale brand that caters to demand from Africa’s fast-growing middle-class demographic, as is Mövenpick, which has strong presence in north Africa and will open its 17 property in the region this year – Mövenpick Sfax, Tunisia.
Its Africa pipeline spans north, west and east Africa, with two new hotels scheduled to launch in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) in 2020.
The Mantis brand, which specialises in high-end eco-escapes and lifestyle resorts, will significantly ramp up Accor’s presence in South Africa where it will open two new projects this year, as well as in east Africa, with new properties in Rwanda and Zambia also launching in 2019.
Breaking Travel News recently caught up with Accor’s Mark Willis to discuss the plans in more details. See what he had to say below: