Hilton's HGI brand expanding into Botswana

Hilton Worldwide is planning to open a 150-room Hilton Garden Inn in Gaborone, Botswana's capital, in 2017. It would be the 13th Hilton Garden Inn in Africa. The hotel will be located eight miles from Gaborone’s Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

According to an article from AFK Insider, citing Fitch’s BMIResearch, there is a need for midscale hotels in Botswana. The majority of visitors to Botswana are looking for wildlife packages, or are young backpackers travelling Southern Africa, according to BMI. This has led to the development of high-end game lodges and low-end budget hostels, with very little in between.

“Our forecast shows that the (tourism) sector will not experience particularly strong growth however, as severely inadequate transport facilities and a lack of investment in the hotel market continue to hinder the possibilities,” BMI Research reported on July 8.

Hilton signed a management agreement to open the mid-market Hilton Garden Inn with Fleming Asset Management Botswana on behalf of Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund.

Founded in 1994, Fleming is the longest established independent asset manager in Botswana, according to its website.

“With 13 Hilton Garden Inn locations now confirmed across Africa, I am delighted that we have agreed our first hotel in Botswana,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development, Europe & Africa for Hilton Worldwide, in a prepared statement. “Botswana has one of the fast growing economies in the world and an impressive visitor offering resulting in an excellent opportunity for hotel development as we exceed 70 Hilton Worldwide properties either trading or under development across Africa.”