A number of global hotel chains are looking to expand in Africa as a profitable growth area, according to East African Business Week.
Research firm W Hospitality Group spoke to 37 hotel chains that cover 80 brands. Trevor Ward, MD for W Hospitality Group, praised the enthusiasm, but noted the "practical challenges" of developing hotels in Africa.
For example, he said, of the 11 hotel deals signed in Abuja, only two, the Fraser Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn, are actively under construction. Developers will need "patience and a long-term view,” he added.
According to a Group statement, to qualify for the study, hotel chains needed to be operating in more than one country—so, by definition, more hotel development activity is taking place because domestic players in the market have not been counted.
Looking at Africa overall, 3,611 new hotel rooms are currently planned by the chains in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. This city is followed by Cairo, with 2,704 rooms, Abuja, Nigeria’s political capital with 2,177 rooms, and Marrakesh with 1,994 rooms.
While Nigeria is evidently hot, so too is Egypt, thanks to substantial development in the resort destination Sharm el Sheikh, with 1,970 rooms in the pipeline there.
The five next most active cities are Algiers with 1,761 rooms, Dakar with 1,341 rooms, Addis Ababa with 1,326 rooms, Nairobi with 1,220 rooms and Kampala with 1,181 rooms.