Global brands invest in African growth

The Sankara Nairobi is the first Autograph Collection hotel in Kenya. Photo credit: Marriott International

Several global hotel companies are taking advantage of the Travel Indaba conference in Durban, South Africa, to share updates on their growth plans for Africa. 

Radisson's Pipeline 

According to the recently published 2019 W Hospitality Group Pipeline Report, Radisson Blu has the most hotels under development and the most hotel deals in its pipeline in Africa out of 120 brands. (Radisson Hotel Group's Park Inn by Radisson came in fifth on the list.)

"We expect our future growth to arise from existing hotel take-overs and new-build hotels," said Andrew Mclachlan, SVP/development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Radisson Hotel Group in a statement. "With economic headwinds in some African markets, we have identified further opportunities to [convert] unbranded, underperforming hotels, offices or apartment buildings and reposition them to the right brand and market segment within the Radisson Hotel Group brand portfolio.”
This growth has spiked Radisson Hotel Group’s portfolio in Africa to 99 hotels (20,500+ rooms) in operation and under development across 32 countries.
“We aim to add a further 12 hotels to our African portfolio this year, which will take us well over the 100 hotel mark by year end and confidently on our way to securing 130 hotels by the end of 2022," Mclachlan said. "Our five-year development strategy focuses on creating scaled hotel growth in key cities and resort locations across Africa. With a focus on scaled growth in key locations across Africa, we can offer guests multiple hotels across different brands and market segments, at various price points and improved local hotel performance with strong local procurement and cluster select services in the same city.
“Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos are our three gateway cities in sub-Saharan Africa where we aim to have scaled growth and an ambition of up to ten hotels within the same city," he added. "Dakar, Abidjan, Douala, Luanda, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa are cities where we aim to have between three and five hotels due to the size of the economy, market, long-term fundamentals and supply and demand opportunities. In addition, we are not ignoring the smaller cities and larger towns across Africa where we’ve identified potential to penetrate the market with either our midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or upscale Radisson.” 

Hilton's Growth

Hilton Garden Inn has four open properties and an additional 14 in the pipeline just three years after opening its first hotel on the continent in 2016. Many of these properties represent first-in-country openings for Hilton Garden Inn and for the Hilton enterprise as a whole, including Botswana, Zambia and Uganda. 

Speaking at Indaba, John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, noted the brand's dedicated prototype for the African market. 

To date, Hilton Garden Inn has four properties and nearly 800 rooms open in Africa, including the Hilton Garden Inn Tanger City Center in Morocco (opened March 2016 as the brand's first property in Africa), the Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport (opened February 2018 as the brand's first property in Kenya), the Hilton Garden Inn Lusaka Society Business Park (opened August 2018 as Hilton's first hotel in Zambia) and the Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone (opened February 2019 as Hilton's first Botswana hotel).

"Countries such as Botswana and Uganda are some of the fastest growing economies in the world, with impressive visitor offerings," said Jan Van Der Putten, VP/operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Hilton. "The Hilton Garden Inn brand appeals to the rise of middle-class travelers into and across Africa, providing an opportunity for us to open hotels and meet guest demand in key destinations.”

With 14 hotels and nearly 2,400 rooms in the Africa pipeline, Hilton Garden Inn Kampala in Uganda and Hilton Garden Inn Mbabane in Eswatini are in the pipeline to open this month as first-in-country properties for both Hilton Garden Inn and the Hilton enterprise. The Hilton Garden Inn Windhoek in Namibia also is slated to open later this year, another first-in-country for Hilton Garden Inn. Other African countries in the Hilton Garden Inn pipeline include Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

As Hilton Garden Inn expands in Africa, the Hilton enterprise as a whole also is expected to double its footprint across Africa from 44 hotels today to almost 100 over the next several years. 

Marriott Signs Autograph for Kenya

Marriott International's Autograph Collection soft brand has added the Sankara Nairobi to its portfolio, marking the debut for the brand in Kenya. 

The 168-room property is a short drive away from the city center and the United Nations Headquarters, and within easy access from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and the Wilson Airport. Public spaces include several restaurants and bars, meeting spaces and fitness facilities. 

Best Western Rebrands in Cape Town

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has rebranded the former Fountains Hotel in Cape Town.

The newly renamed Best Western Fountains Hotel has 156 guestrooms and suites in Cape Town’s central business district. 

“We are excited to join the Best Western Hotels & Resorts family of brands and expand our sales efforts using the tools and expertise that Best Western Hotels & Resorts provides” said Jacques Osse, owner of Best Western Fountains Hotel. “Their established connection with South African Airways means that our local clients can immediately benefit through the Best Western Rewards loyalty club.”