Swiss-Belhotel International will open five hotels in Africa by 2021 to establish its presence across the continent, according to a report from FTN News.
The first hotel from the new pipeline will open in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The hotel group recently signed a management agreement with Zanzibar Crown Hotel and Resort to manage the 125-room Swiss-Belresort Zanzibar. The resort is slated to open in 2019 as one of the few internationally branded resorts on the island. Swiss-Belhotel is also is talks to operate other projects throughout the continent.
Swiss-Belhotel aims to capitalize on the positive factors for travelers and growing shortage of affordable accommodation in the region. “Better connectivity, access to low-cost airlines, and more countries embracing visa-free travel within the region are some of the other major factors driving growth in the hotel industry across the continent. Moreover, there is a considerable shortage of quality mid-market hotels in Africa, and as the middle class grows, we are seeing higher demand for affordable accommodation that we at Swiss-Belhotel International are eager to capitalize on," Laurent A. Voivenel, SVP of operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, told FTN News.
The company also aims to shift its focus in line with the changes in Africa's traditional hospitality industry. It plans to appeal to the millennial generation and compete better with other international brands also entering the market by creating unique experiences for travelers. "Travelers, especially the millennial generation, are looking for experiences and hotels need to be more hands-on on creating these unique experiences for their guests. The industry needs to listen to consumers on where there are gaps and boost markets that need the growth,” Voivenel said.
Swiss-Belhotel currently has properties in three regions: Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Most of these hotels operate in Asia Pacific, totaling 75 properties. The Middle East has four Swiss-Belhotels in Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE while Europe has one Swiss-Belhotel property in Bulgaria.