Over 3000 Hotel Rooms Set for Africa

A number of global major hotel chains have set eyes on Africa as a profitable growth area in future including the Hilton Group.

Research firm, W Hospitality Group spoke to 37 hotel chains with 80 brands between them.

Trevor Ward, the Managing Director, W Hospitality Group, said recently, "Whilst it is fantastic to see so much investor enthusiasm, one must bear in mind the practical challenges of developing hotels in Africa.

"For example, of the 11 hotel deals signed in Abuja, only two, the Fraser Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn, are actively under construction. Patience and a long-term view are needed," he said.

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.

It is followed by Cairo, with 2,704 rooms, Abuja, Nigeria's political capital with 2,177 rooms, and Marrakesh with 1,994 rooms.

Whilst 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.

A record 79 deals were signed in 2014. Some of the deals signed in previous years have, of course, become reality, and are operational. However, a number of deals are still on the books after several years.

Between 2006 and 2011, no fewer than 60 deals with 13,500 rooms, over 25% of the total, were signed, and really should have opened by now.

However, for many reasons (most often a lack of finance) are still just paperwork or, in some cases, unfinished monuments to unfulfilled promise.

Over 35,000 new rooms in 210 new hotels are set to open in the next three years, with a certainty that there will be more than that, in deals yet to be done.

The W Hospitality Group, is a founding member of Hotel Partners Africa and specialises in the provision of advisory services to the hotel, tourism and leisure industries across Africa and beyond.