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Hotel groups plan major African expansion

Marriott International announced its plans to expand its African footprint by 33% by 2023. The planned development, at an estimated cost of $2 billion, would see its African property portfolio grow from nearly 140 to 180 properties and room inventory grow from 24,000 to 32,000.

Marriott is intensifying its global growth strategy already announced last March in its three-year growth plan In Africa Marriott International’s current portfolio includes 14 brands across 20 countries and territories and its key markets for development on the continent are Morocco, South Africa, Algeria and Egypt. The company expects growth to be led by their premium and select service brands, Marriott and Protea by Marriott, accounting for 14 openings. Additionally, they anticipate expanding their luxury portfolio by 10 properties, via the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and J.W. Marriott brands. The Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, and Element brands are also expected to make their African debut.

“Africa is a land of opportunity with untapped potential and remains core to our strategy,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “The economic growth the region is witnessing, along with the substantial emphasis countries across the continent are placing on the travel and tourism sector, present us with immense opportunities for growth.”

“With compelling, well-established lifestyle brands and Marriott Bonvoy, our industry-leading travel program, we continue to offer different attributes that resonate with the region’s fast-growing middle class and cater to its evolving market place,” Kyriakidis added.

The group’s most recent deals foresee the following openings: 

  • Four Points by Sheraton São Vincente, Laginha Beach (Cape Verde) in 2022 with 128 rooms
  • Four Points by Sheraton Mekelle (Ethiopia) by 2022 with 241 rooms
  • Protea Hotel by Marriott Kisumu (Kenya) in 2022 with 125 rooms 
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Lagos Victoria Island (Nigeria) in 2023 with 130 rooms.

The leading hotel group worldwide currently claims a total of 140 hotels for more than 24,000 rooms in Africa.

Other notable announcements include plans for the Hampton by Hilton brand to reach the 100-property milestone, indicating broad expectations for expansion of the African hospitality market. Hilton has been present on the African continent since 1959; it currently announces that it operates 47 properties on this market, and has 52 more in the pipeline, to be completed in the coming months or even years.

Radisson Hotel Group is also boosting its growth with the signing of 11 new hotels in Africa including a second Radisson RED in South Africa with Radisson RED Johannesburg Rosebank to open in 2022 with 222 rooms.

Accor has signed for three properties with Compagnie Hôtelière et Immobilière du Congo (CHIC), owned by leading DRC conglomerates, to open Novotel properties in the capital, Kinshasa, and its two major mining centres in the south, Lubumbashi and Kolwezi, for a total of 337 keys in Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country.

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