Hotel boom in Africa?

More than 524 new hotels and resorts are in the pipeline to be developed in Africa over the next few years.

The number of hotels and resorts to be built across Africa have increased significantly compared to previous years. According to the 2024 Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa, conducted by W Hospitality Group, more than 524 new hotels and resorts with 92,193 rooms are planned, which is 9.2% more than in 2023.

According to the report, 28% of the market share is in Egypt, while 71% of new hotels and resorts will be built by the “big five” hotel chains – global chains Accor, Hilton, IHG, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group.

According to Trevor Ward, Managing Director at the W Hospitality Group, the company received responses from 47 international and regional hotel chains (some with nil returns), reporting their pipeline activity for 134 of their brands for which they have signed deals in Africa.

“As of early 2024 the chains’ development pipelines total a record 524 hotels and resorts with 92,193 rooms, up an amazing 9.2% on 2023. In this report, we provide an analysis of those deals, looking at who’s doing what, where, how and when; we have up to 18 data points per planned hotel – that’s a total of over 9,000 “bits”!

“Our analyses provide a unique understanding of the present and future (and a bit of the past, too) of the hotel industry in Africa, an understanding that is essential for investors, governments, hospitality and real estate professionals, students and others,” says Ward.

Is there a hotel boom in Africa?

The report tracked 29 hotels and resorts with about 3,500 rooms that opened in 2023, down on the 2022 figures. That’s just 6% of that year’s pipeline, and 21% of the hotels that were scheduled to open last year.

Ward said that the hotel chains project that they will open 139 hotels in 2024, equivalent to almost 27% of the pipeline.

“In 2019, we calculated that 75% of scheduled hotels actually opened, so we look forward to getting back to that kind of figure this year. With the exception of 2019, then, we won’t look back too much to envision the future of the chain hotel industry in Africa, we’ll do what we can to get all those hotels open. We also look to the future to overcome some of the challenges that Africa has faced in 2023 and continues to face this year.

The challenges

“Economic and political woes, and natural and man-made disasters, hit the news regularly, and these macro-level events can cause negativity about some of the countries of Africa, if not, for some people, about the continent as a whole. But the fact that the hotel chains signed over 100 new deals last year, and that 29 hotels did actually open (even one hotel opening is good news!), is evidence that the glass is still much less than half full, with plenty of opportunities for further development.”

One interesting result from this year’s analysis is that there has been a massive increase in the number of resort projects in the pipeline, and therefore the number of rooms, increasing from 24% of the total last year to 30% in 2024.

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