As part of its expansion across Africa, Marriott International signed deals to open seven new hotels consisting of 1,300 guestrooms across several new markets.
Marriott is looking to have more than 200 hotels with 37,000 guestrooms open or in the pipeline by 2022, for approximately $8.5 billion of capital investment by its real estate partners. The new markets for the company include Benin, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The company will make its debut in the Ivory Coast and will boost its presence in existing markets, including Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.
Marriott International acquired African hotel chain Protea Hotels for $210 million in 2014, and the company now operates 140 hotels with about 24,000 guestrooms across 12 brands in Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
Close to Presidential Palace, the 200 guestroom Abidjan Marriott Hotel is in the center of Plateau, the central business district and the commercial, financial and administrative center of Abidjan. Owned by Ivory Coast Investissement, the hotel is slated to open in 2021 and will be part of a mixed-use development that will include a conference center, offices, retail and a national library.
Scheduled to open in 2022, both Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will also be part of a mixed-use development which will include a convention center, a marina, a shopping center and an office building. The 259-guestroom Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan will be a conversion of an existing hotel, which will be rebranded following extensive refurbishment, while the 300-room Sheraton Abidjan will be a new-build property. Owned by the Societe Des Lagunes, the hotels will be set on the waterfront in the Cocody neighborhood, a residential commune that also has the embassy district.
Marriott recently opened Protea by Marriott Owerri Select in Nigeria. Following this opening, Marriott International will manage the 216-room Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel and a 44-room Marriott Executive Apartments, which is owned and developed by Landmark Africa Group. Slated to open in 2020, the 25-floor hotels will be within the Landmark Village precinct, a mixed-use, business, leisure and lifestyle development on the Atlantic Ocean waterfront in Lagos's CBD Victoria Island.
The 1,600-room Le Meridien Accra, owned by 4-Mac, is within the Airport Residential Area of Accra near the international airport, commercial, diplomatic and government hubs and major city attractions. Scheduled to open in 2021, the hotel marks the debut of Le Meridien brand into Ghana. The flagship Marriott Hotels brand will also debut in Ghana with the Accra Marriott Hotel.
In Egypt, the company recently reopened Sheraton Cairo after a renovation. It is now looking to debut its St. Regis brand with the opening of the St. Regis Cairo.
Marriott debuted the Four Points brand in Tanzania last week with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Arusha, The Arusha Hotel. Now, it's gearing up to open the Four Points by Sheraton Dar es Salam, New Africa Hotel.
Earlier this year the Four Points brand debuted in Kenya with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham. The company is expected to open its second hotel in Kenya, Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport in the next couple of weeks.
Other forthcoming openings over the next couple of months include Sheraton Bamako, which marks the debut of Marriott International in Mali, and Protea Hotel by Marriott Constantine, the brand’s debut in Algeria. Projected to open in 2021, the 165-room Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa on Churchill Avenue will mark the debut of the brand in Ethiopia. Marriott will also debut The Ritz-Carlton brand in the Zanzibar Archipelago with the 90-guestroom The Ritz-Carlton Zanzibar, an all-suite and villa resort. Meanwhile, the company will launch the Aloft brand in Mauritius with the Aloft Port Louis, the brand's first adaptive reuse project in Africa, slated to open in 2019.
Hotel groups embark on expansion sprees
Various hotel groups, including Marriott, have been revving up their African expansion plans recently to enhance Africa's hotel industry and capitalize on growing demand. August 2017 data from STR showed that Africa's hotel pipeline currently clocks in at 301 projects and 57,011 guestrooms in development.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts recently released its African expansion plan to develop six new hotels in Africa, which are set to open in 2020, in order to double its presence in the continent. Hyatt will grow its current portfolios in Morocco and Tanzania as the group debuts its brand in Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal. East Africa is of particular importance to the group, as it has been searching for even more investment opportunities in the region. Hyatt has also been seeking opportunities to invest in the hotel markets of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Just last week, Hilton released its expansion plans across the continent with a strategy to invest $50 million over the next five years toward the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative. The company expects to support the expansion of its Sub-Saharan African portfolio through rebranding about 100 hotels with close to 20,000 guestrooms in multiple African markets under Hilton brands. Most of these hotels will operate under the flagship Hilton brand, DoubleTree by Hilton and Curio Collection.
Africa's growing stock delivers mixed results
Africa's growing pipeline has created mixed results in terms of hotel performance across the continent. As of August 2017, rates have gone up among several countries, including Egypt, Morocco and South Africa while those of the other countries, including Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria, have struggling to remain afloat. Among the strong hotel markets is Egypt, with a high ADR increase by 70.1 percent to EGP1,185.53. However, the devaluation of the Egyptian pound caused these numbers to rise. In U.S. dollars, ADR dropped by 17.2 percent between January and August 2017 to $466.54, despite occupancy rising 17.2 percent to 52.7 percent.
Although the Africa Hotel Investment Forum's African Hotel Report 2017 named Nigeria hotels the most valuable on the African mainland, its surging supply growth, which accounted for more than half of the market's existing hotel guestrooms, occupancy levels have dropped 1.2 percent to 44.3 percent year-to-date. The currency conversion to U.S. dollars was also against this country as ADR declined 23.3 percent to $149.58., but increased by 6.8 percent to NGN47,819.53.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia's hotel market has shown a range of performance in 2017 so far. Although occupancy was down by 6.7 percent to 51.6 percent, ADR was up 8.0 percent to ETB4,914.13. Room-nights in the country rose by 4.2 percent, compared to the first eight months of 2016. This has caused Ethiopia's occupancy levels to decline by 4.2 percent and RevPAR to drop 5.4 percent to ETB1,834.81.