With growth planned, Hilton opens Africa's first Curio Collection property

Hilton is on track to more than double its African portfolio in the next five years.

Most recently, the chain opened the Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton, a first in Lagos and in Africa. It's Hilton's second hotel in Nigeria, with an additional seven hotels in its development pipeline for the country.

The property is located at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, which handles more than 8 million passengers each year. The hotel is adjacent to the airport’s private jet terminal and has an exclusive immigration and customs desk in the hotel for private jet passengers. 

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“As the continent continues to undergo rapid urbanization, [and] with the UN forecasting that the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035, this hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region,” said Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta in a statement.

Hilton is seeing strong demand for its brands across the continent and expects to open eight hotels in total across Africa this year, three under the Hilton Garden Inn flag. The company expects to open at least 16 Hilton Garden Inns in the next five years, including locations in Kampala, Ghana, Malawi, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and other strategic locations across sub-Saharan Africa.  

Last year, the megachain launched the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative, which will support the conversion of existing hotels to Hilton brands with an investment of $50 million over five years. During that period, Hilton expects to secure 100 conversion opportunities with some 15,000-20,000 rooms added to its portfolio to meet the growing need for quality branded hotels across the continent.

Hilton has had a continuous presence in Africa since 1959 and has 41 open hotels and 53 in its development pipeline. This includes market entries in 13 countries where it does not currently operate, including Botswana, Ghana, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.

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The company expects to open more than 30 new Comfort properties in the market by 2033 via its existing franchising agreement with Choice Hotels Japan.

While consolidated revenue for the quarter was up 10.9 percent as reported, it was up 4.1 percent on a like-for-like basis compared to Q3 2018.

Sam Schwartz has spent more than four years with First Hospitality, including most recently as a general manager.