In the wake of this accolade comes another report which shows the Hilton Group is leading the race to open new hotels in Africa.
The findings of this year’s Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey, produced by Lagos-based consultancy W Hospitality Group, show that Hilton is leading the race to develop new hotels in Africa with 7,250 rooms in its pipeline, spread over 29 new properties, 18% up on the previous year. Hot on its heels is Carlson Rezidor, with 6,953 new rooms in development spread across 32 hotels. Marriott is in third place with 6,412 rooms spread over 36 new properties, 22% up on 2014.
Best Western had 12 new hotels in its pipeline, but the average size of their hotel is lower at 93 rooms, and therefore they dropped out of the top ten when the pipeline is analysed by number of rooms. Both Kempinski and Fairmont focus on large, luxury hotels (Kempinski with their single brand, and Fairmont developing Raffles, Fairmont and Swissotel) and had the largest average number of rooms in the survey, the report states.
Marriott led in presenting a multi-brand offer, with 10 brands available to developers, including four brands included for the first time since its acquisition of Protea Hotels last year. This multi-brand approach, W Hospitality explained, had become more commonplace as Africa’s markets continued to develop and become mature enough for multiple brands, catering to markets across a broad spectrum. “Having led their market entry with their flagship brands, typically at the upscale level, several of the chains are now introducing their midscale and budget brands.”
Kempinski has been signing the biggest deals, with an average 324 rooms per hotel, double that of Park Inn, and of all the chains in the survey has the largest hotel project in sub-Sahara Africa, the 451-room Grand Hotel Oyala Kempinski in Equatorial Guinea’s future new capital, Oyala.
Trevor Ward, Managing Director of the W Hospitality Group, said, “these figures highlight two trends in African hotel development, first that the main opportunities lie in the midscale segment, and second that such hotels are “easier” to develop. Hilton, for example, have launched a modular solution for their upcoming Garden Inn projects in Africa, in conjunction with CIMC Modular Building Systems – modular guest rooms and hallways are built in the factory, ensuring guarantees of cost and quality, as well as enabling faster development.”