July 15, 2024


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World’s leading luxury hotels expanding across Africa in multi-billion dollar expansion drive

Luxury hotels are expanding in Africa, with Marriott, Radisson Blu, and Hyatt leading the way with new developments and acquisitions.

By Conrad Onyango, bird story agency

As international travellers troop back to Africa, some of the world’s major hotel chains are re-igniting a multi-billion dollar expansion race that began pre-pandemic.

Marriott, Radisson Blu and Hyatt are heading the race for a bigger slice of Africa’s hospitality pie as they ramp up their presence, mainly through acquisitions and property management deals and push their select-service brands across the continent.

American multinational hospitality company Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently announced it would reestablish its presence in South Africa with Park Hyatt Johannesburg in late 2023 and enter Morocco with Park Hyatt Marrakech through acquisitions of local brands.

It also plans to open a signature restaurant in South Africa under its Andaz brand later in the year.

“Through our intentional long-term growth strategy and by working closely with owners, Hyatt boasts five years of industry-leading organic net rooms growth,” said Hyatt’s Executive Vice President of Global Franchising and Development, Jim Chu.

Hyatt said it is positioned for continued transformative growth in 2023 and beyond, having hit a record pipeline of approximately 117,000 rooms worldwide by the end of 2022.

American hotel brand, Marriott International is eyeing over 30 hotel openings with over 5,000 rooms in Africa by the close of 2024, attributing the growth of the travel and tourism sector across the continent behind its race to expand in the region aggressively.

“We continue to see opportunities to expand in major gateway cities, commercial centers, and resort destinations across Africa, while catering to the region’s ever-changing and evolving markets through our diverse range of extraordinary brands,” said Karim Cheltout, the Regional Vice President of Lodging Development for Africa.

Protea Hotels by Marriott, currently with over 60 hotels across nine countries, will add ten more, including the brand’s first properties in Kenya, Malawi, and Angola. In South Africa, the brand is expected to open five new hotels.

Marriott’s Four Points by Sheraton brand will make a foray into Uganda, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cape Verde.

The brand also expects to open its second property in Nigeria, the Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene.

Select-service brands, led by Protea Hotels by Marriott and Four Points by Sheraton, make up over 50 per cent of the company’s property additions in Africa through 2024.

The anticipated launch of Delta Hotels by Marriott Dar es Salaam Oyster Bay in Tanzania in 2023 will mark its foray into Africa’s luxury and premium brands market.

Also planned under this portfolio include the introduction of the Westin Hotels & Resorts brand in Ethiopia, The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis brands in Morocco and The Ritz-Carlton, Rabat Dar Es Salam.

It will introduce its first luxury safari property in Kenya, JW Marriott Hotel in Nairobi and Maasai Mara.

“Marriott International’s current portfolio in Africa encompasses nearly 130 properties and more than 23,000 rooms across 20 countries,” the hotel said in a statement.

In December 2022, Radisson Hotel Group opened its first safari resort in Africa, Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort, Zambia, as part of its strategy to open 150 hotels in the market by 2025.

“This hotel is our second property in Zambia, following the opening of Radisson Blu Hotel, Lusaka, with a third hotel, Park Inn by Radisson Lusaka, Longacres, due to open in 2023,” said Radisson Hotel Group Chief Commercial Officer, Middle East & Africa, Tim Cordon.

Dubai-based Hotel brand LEVA is also eyeing five African countries-Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Uganda and Nigeria – targeting the underserved and affordable luxury market.

The hotel chain is entering strategic partnerships with local hotel developers to modernise and manage- with eight properties lined up for the Middle East and African markets by the end of 2023.

In Nigeria, the Middle Eastern company is partnering with REIZ Continental Hotels to manage REIZ Continental Hotel by Leva, which is still under construction. In Uganda, it has taken over the management of Kampala’s first boutique hotel, Emin Pasha Leva Hotel.

Two strategic partnerships have marked LEVA’s debut in Ethiopia with LEVA Afrotsion Semera Resort and Harsade Harbour Resort by LEVA.

“The hotel chain is strategically positioning itself to ultimately become the hotel management partner of choice, especially for hotels and resorts that are looking to boost their competitive advantage in their respective markets,” according to the hotel.

Research firm, Verified Market Research projects the Africa Hotel Market valued at US $4.23 billion in 2017 will reach US $ 6.31 billion by 2026, driven by business and leisure tourism.

The easing of travel restrictions globally and pent-up demand have contributed to a significant recovery of Africa’s tourism and hospitality market.

According to the UNWTO tourism barometer, Africa is experiencing a more than doubling of international arrivals from 19.4 million in 2021 to 45 million in 2022. This has so far translated to a pre-pandemic recovery rate of about 65%.

bird story agency

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