Nigeria leads hotel pipeline growth for sub-Saharan Africa

Posted: March 12, 2013 in travel & tourism

nigeriaWith over seven thousand new hotel rooms already earmarked for the year 2013, Nigeria extensively leads the rest of sub-Saharan Africa in the volume of pipeline hotels planned for the year in review, just as the overall number of planned new hotel rooms in the development pipeline in Africa saw a considerable increase in figures.

This were the highpoints of a research by Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, released Wednesday, which showed an increase of 16 per cent for development pipeline in Africa compared with year 2012  figures for the region.

With the near completion of the Ibis, in Ikeja, owned by the new entrant Accor Group, as well the Intercontinental Hotels, Victoria Island, among a high list of other emerging international brands venturing into Nigeria, the research places Nigeria as one of the leading and driving markets for international hotel brands in Africa.

The newly-released research also focuses on newly planned rooms for the country and is based on a sample of 29 international hotel chains with 59 brands among them.

“As in previous years, the details show a tale of two Africas; the sub-Saharan and the North African regions,” W Hospitality Group said, further adding: “In North Africa, the development pipeline grew 9 per cent, from 17,217 planned new guestrooms in 2012 to 18,782 rooms in 77 hotels in 2013.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, however, the chains’ pipeline now stands at 21,052 rooms in 130 hotels, up from 17,109 rooms in 100 hotels a year ago, a 23 per cent increase.”

According to the W Hospitality research, the five countries of North Africa all appear in the top 10 countries for new hotels in Africa, led by Egypt (7,644 planned new hotel rooms), Morocco (5,178) and Algeria (3,160).

“In sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria has by far the largest pipeline, with 7,470 planned new rooms. The companies leading the way are Hilton Worldwide with 6,230 rooms in its African pipeline, Carlson Rezidor with 5,947, Accor with 5,165 and Marriott with 3,900.

“The main reasons for the slower growth in North Africa include the opening of hotels in the 2012 pipeline, particularly in Algeria, a reduced investment focus on North Africa due to political concerns and a greater emphasis on development in sub-Saharan markets,” said Trevor Ward, managing director of W Hospitality Group.

“There is a boom in Africa in all sectors, including hotels. Economic growth in many countries is 6 per cent or higher, and global investors are looking at the continent in a much more serious and sophisticated way,” Ward added.

Recall that last year, the W Hospitality Group’s research figures a had showed that international hotel brands drove development activities in Africa with almost 99,000 total rooms operating in Africa; around 44,300 in North Africa and 54,600 in sub-Saharan Africa.

At the beginning of 2012, the international hotel chains reported a total of 208 signed deals for hotels, with just over 38,000 rooms, in their development pipelines in Africa.

According to the survey, the 2.4 per cent increase in pipeline rooms in 2012 was eclipsed by the international chains’ advances in sub-Saharan Africa where, despite a reduction in 2011, the 2012 was forecast with a massive 42 per cent increase in pipeline rooms.

Hotel brands’ development activities in Africa also showed that Accor’s Ibis remains the brand with the most hotels in the pipeline although Carlson Rezidor’s Radisson Blu has the most guestrooms.

The average size of a new African Ibis is 140 rooms, while the Radisson Blus are 250 rooms. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Glattbrugg, Switzerland, opened a hotel in Accra in 2012, and have several hotels and Nile cruisers in their pipeline in Egypt, where they already have a strong presence. Despite their leading position, Ibis’ pipeline reduced in 2012 because they opened several hotels in 2011, including two in Equatorial Guinea where Accor, Courcouronnes, France, operate four of the five branded hotels in the country and although they signed new properties in Nigeria and Ghana, there was a net reduction in the pipeline of rooms.

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