Accor accelerates Africa development plans

Accor signed a deal to open the MGallery Addis Ababa for Ethiopia in 2017. Photo credit: Accor (MGallery Addis Ababa)

Accor is "fast-tracking" its development plans in Africa, leveraging its expanded portfolio to consolidate its position in North and West Africa and achieve growth in sub-Saharan and East Africa.

The company has more than 26,500 rooms in more than 156 properties in 23 countries across the continent and a pipeline of 54 hotels with more than 10,386 rooms.

The group is on track to open 35 hotels in Africa by 2020, and has set a target of signing between 15 to 20 projects each year between now and 2025. This strategy is bolstered by the recent Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts acquisition, a 50-percent stake in South Africa’s Mantis Group as well as the company's creation of a joint $1 billion investment fund with Qatar-based Katara Hospitality dedicated to hospitality projects in select sub-Saharan African countries.

In a statement, Mark Willis, CEO of Middle East & Africa for Accor, said that development in eastern and sub-Saharan Africa would be accelerated by "maximizing opportunities for recent brand additions, including lifestyle concepts; identifying markets for branded residences and extended-stay projects—a segment in its relative infancy in Africa; and capitalizing on the success of existing brands such as Ibis, Novotel, Pullman, Sofitel and Fairmont, to name a few."

Target Markets

Target growth markets include Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa; Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa; and Johannesburg and Cape Town in south Africa, with a view to operating both standalone and multiple properties in one location such as mixed-use projects—the current focus of infrastructure development plans in many African locations.

In North Africa, Accor is looking to pioneer hospitality concepts that are new to the market, with Fairmont-branded residences already developed in Marrakesh, Morocco, and two more planned for Rabat and Taghazout, also in Morocco. The development team also is eyeing prospects for lifestyle brands in Morocco and Tunisia, both considered mature hotel markets, as well as in South Africa.

For extended-stay development, Accor has announced plans to debut its first Pullman Living property in Ghana. The Pullman Accra will have 149 serviced apartments under the Pullman Living brand and a hotel with 214 rooms and suites.

Mövenpick will open its 17 property in the region this year: the Mövenpick Sfax, Tunisia. Its Africa pipeline spans North, West and East Africa, with two new hotels scheduled to launch in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) in 2020.

The Mantis brand will boost Accor’s presence in South Africa, where it will open two new projects this year, as well as in East Africa, with new properties in Rwanda and Zambia also launching in 2019.