Hotel development activity in Africa is still rising in the face of the continent’s economic problems, showing a 13 per cent increase in 2017, according to the annual survey by W Hospitality Group.
The ninth edition of its Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa has 36 international and regional contributors reporting almost 73,000 rooms in 417 hotels.
The figures have grown each year, more than doubling since 2009.
This year, bragging rights are shared; Marriott International, boosted by its merger with Starwood, comes top of the table in terms of number of rooms planned.
But AccorHotels continues to lead – just – by the number of hotels in its pipeline.
By country, Egypt is in first place with the highest number of hotel rooms in the on-site construction phase.
The report, along with all the challenges of developing new hotels in Africa will be discussed by industry leaders and government officials at the seventh Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali, in October.
AHIF is the highest-level gathering of hotel investors and developers in Africa.
It will take place alongside the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony, scheduled for the same venue on October 10th.
Many African countries faced a challenging 2016, with lower prices for oil and other commodities, devalued currencies and other negative factors.
That may have affected confidence in the short-term, as the number of deals signed was 86, down from 121 in 2015.
Despite the slowdown, some countries benefited from cheaper oil imports and there was increased activity in southern and east Africa.
In addition, more hotel chains established development offices on the continent, to address the fact that Africa is still massively under-provided with rooms.
Growth is expected to be more muted in 2017, and financing and bureaucratic hurdles remain, but an increasing number of deals are coming to fruition on time: from only 26 per cent opening their doors on schedule in 2014, to 47 per cent in 2016.
The results show that investor confidence is returning to North Africa after several years of turmoil and uncertainty in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia.
- The top ten contains four of the five North African countries, with several deals signed in 2016, including 12 in Egypt.
- In the ranking by number of hotels, AccorHotels has two brands in the top five positions – Ibis Styles and Grand Mercure, both pipelines primarily in Angola.
- AccorHotels continues to lead the ranking of the chains – as opposed to individual brands - by number of planned hotels, with 84.
- But Marriott International leads in terms of rooms, with 16,393.
W Hospitality Group managing director, Trevor Ward, said: “Several countries in Africa have suffered severe economic problems in the past couple of years.
“But there are encouraging signs that we are turning a corner in 2017, and whilst growth is more muted, there is definitely an acceptance of the new normal, with a desire to move forward again in a climate of lower-valued currencies, less government spending and lower GDP growth.
“The world in 2017 is a very different place to when we started this survey in 2009. But Africa is still rising, at least as far as the development activities of the hotel chains is concerned.
“While the chains do not, generally, build or invest in the hotels they brand, at the other side of every deal there is an investor eager to do so.”
Africa Hotel Investment Forum
AHIF is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.
It is organised by Bench Events.
Find out more on the official website.