The number of planned hotel rooms in Africa has soared to 64,000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% compared with the previous year, according to new figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey.
The report however showed that Nigeria remained the country with the most rooms in the pipeline, as it rose by 20 per cent in 2015. Together with Angola, the two countries accounted for 17,782 rooms between them, almost 30 per cent of the total rooms under construction and 40 per cent of the signed rooms in the continent.
A major shake-up in the rankings by country saw Angola, which was never before listed among the top 10, push Egypt out of second place, due to a major deal signed by AccorHotels.
The W Hospitality Group survey is published ahead of the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which is organised by Bench Events.
According to a statement from the Africa Press Organisation (APO), the conference which attracts all the major international hotel investors in Africa, would be held for the first time in Lomé on 21-22 June. A second AHIF will also take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 4-6 October.
The W Hospitality Group Managing Director, Trevor Ward said: “The evidence from our survey is clear – investors remain confident about the future of the hospitality industry on the continent. Even when pummelled daily by low commodity prices, exchange rate problems, political challenges and poor infrastructure, Africa remains resilient.”
The World Bank on Monday lowered its 2016 sub-Saharan African growth forecast to 3.3 per cent from a previous forecast of 4.4 per cent in October, citing plunging global commodity prices. The bank said the commodity price rout, particularly for oil which fell 67 per cent from June 2014 to December 2015, as well as weak global growth were behind the region’s lacklustre performance.
The Managing Director of Bench Events, Matthew Weihs said: “Africa is still on the up. For business, trade and capital investment, the continent remains an attractive proposition, leading to continuing demand for accommodation and other hospitality services.”
This is the eighth annual pipeline survey, widely recognised as the most authoritative source on hotel industry growth in Africa, particularly in revealing data on international chains signing new deals. The 2016 survey provides a full picture of hotel development across the continent – 36 hotel chains and 86 brands with more than 64,000 rooms in 365 hotels.
In comparison to figures from the inaugural survey in 2009, it’s possible to see how far hotel development in Africa has come. In 2009 there were 19 international and regional hotel chains contributing, with a pipeline of 144 hotels and just under 30,000 rooms.
Overall in the 2016 report, it’s Angola that dominates. In July last year, AccorHotels signed with AAA Activos LDA for the management of 50 hotels with around 6,200 rooms. All are under construction and many are ready to open.
Across the continent, the north-south divide on hotel development continues. In 2011, the number of pipeline rooms in the five countries of North Africa was about 25 per cent higher than that in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, it is less than half.
Ward explained: “There are two reasons why development activity in North Africa is now somewhat subdued. Firstly, the markets there are more mature and have already seen much development, so there are fewer opportunities for new hotels. Secondly, there is the political turmoil – in Libya, which has seen a 40 per cent drop in the pipeline, and also Egypt, parts of which are experiencing drastic reductions in the number of tourists.”