Marriott International has taken the lead in 2018 with the highest number of new hotel guestrooms under construction in Africa, according to a survey from W Hospitality Group.
Marriott's current development pipeline totals 93 new hotels with 17,708 guestrooms in Africa with almost 50 percent of these guestrooms at 8,587 already under construction. Hilton ranked second this year with 6,352 guestrooms under construction while the Radisson Hotel Group came in third place with 4,840 guestrooms currently being constructed.
AccorHotel Group ranked fourth because its hotel deals are fairly new, most of which were signed in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, only 36 percent of guestrooms in its pipeline are under construction. Meanwhile, Best Western has just over 91 percent of guestrooms in its pipeline in construction. Both Louvre Hotels Group and Meliá have all their pipeline guestrooms under construction.
In terms of specific brands, Radisson Blu has the most guestrooms under construction, outpacing the Hilton brand by more than 300 guestrooms. Hilton's brands Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton both ranked in the Top 10 due to the chain's $50-million Hilton Africa Growth Initiative.
Africa's hotels have seen year-on-year performance growth across the country in 2018 so far. However, this growth is slower than it has been in recent years. Africa's hotels reported a 13-percent increase in pipeline guestroom numbers in 2017 while 2018 has only seen 13.5-percent growth, compared to the 25-percent growth reported in 2015 and the 19-percent recorded in 2016.
While W Hospitality Group forecasts strong overall pipeline growth for hotel chains in Africa in the future, the number of scheduled openings for this year may drop significantly. Mangalis, a new hotel brand launched in 2011, has already built a significant pipeline of 14 hotels with 1,746 guestrooms. These will more than quadruple the brand's existing portfolio of three hotels with 425 guestrooms. Five of the 14 hotels in the pipeline are under construction.
However, Trevor Ward, MD, W Hospitality group, said in a statement, “Of the total 76,322 rooms in the African pipeline, almost 34,000 rooms are said by the chains to have scheduled openings this year and in 2019. The reality on ground, however, is that 4,000 of those rooms were not even under construction as at the time of our data collection-which was the first quarter of 2018! It would not therefore be amiss of us to suggest that there is a degree of over-optimism on the part of the chains regarding their expansion plans."