At AHIF, Starwood heralds Africa, Indian Ocean growth

At the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced expansion in Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Today, the company has 34 operating hotels and pipeline of 20 hotels under development. With the expansion of its luxury, upper-upscale and mid-market brands, Starwood said it will grow its portfolio in the region by over 50 percent in the next five years, with more than 50 hotels operating and nine out of its 10 brands.

“The momentum of growth we are seeing in Africa today is unprecedented. It is a reiteration of the trust our owners have in us, the power of our distinct lifestyle brands and the strength of our global distribution and award-winning loyalty program,” said Michael Wale, president for Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Africa is a market with huge potential. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and quality lodging will continue to grow and provide us with a significant opportunity to grow our brands and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent.”

Starwood announced seven new deals including W Sharm El Sheikh and The Residences at W Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), Sheraton Bamako (Mali), The Westin Abuja and Residences (Nigeria), Four Points by Sheraton Abuja and Residences (Nigeria), Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport (Kenya), Aloft Dakar (Senegal), and Element Oyster Bay Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).  With the new signings Starwood will further build its position in Nigeria and Egypt, increase its presence in Senegal and enter new markets, which include Mali, Kenya and Tanzania.

“We are excited with the success we are seeing in the continent. Franchising has opened up new opportunities for us and is a strategy that is helping drive growth of our mid-market brands. We are also beginning to see more and more opportunities for conversion and are pursuing them actively. We are confident that this will give further impetus to our growth trajectory. We remain focused on choosing the right partner, and the right brand in established, emerging as well as unexplored but interesting destinations,” said Neil George, SVP acquisition & development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa & Middle East.

Following the announcement of its 10th brand, Tribute Portfolio, earlier this year, the company said it is also actively pursuing opportunities to introduce the brand in Africa and Indian Ocean.

2015/2016 opening highlights
Starwood will open 7 hotels in the next year, including:

Opening of Four Points by Sheraton Oran in November marking the entry of the brand into Algeria followed by Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene (Nigeria) in 2016.

Opening of The Westin Soma Bay Golf Resort & Spa, after conversion which marks the entry of the brand into Egypt, followed by opening of a new Westin in Cairo, The Westin Katameya Dunes.

The debut of The St. Regis Cairo in 2016. Re-opening of the iconic Sheraton Cairo after extensive renovation in 2016. Opening of Sheraton Conakry, marking the entry of the brand and Starwood’s first hotel in Guinea.