The Covid-19 pandemic has forced several hotel chains to suspend or cancel their development projects on the continent. But activity seems to be picking up again this year, thanks in particular to the unshakeable attractiveness of certain key destinations.
Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia and Cape Verde are the African countries where hotel chains were growing the most in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report published last July by the consulting firm W Hospitality Group.
Entitled “Hotel chain development pipelines in Africa 2022”, this report reveals that Egypt is the country on the continent with the highest number of hotel rooms under construction in the first quarter of the current year. With 6,142 “under development” rooms, this North African country is ahead of Morocco (5,577 rooms), Ethiopia (3,871) and Cape Verde (3,016).
Next come Nigeria (2,544), Kenya (2,450), Algeria (2,337), Tunisia (2,281) and South Africa (1,948). Senegal closes the African Top 10, with 1,919 rooms under construction.
If we take into account all the hotel rooms that are in the pipeline, i.e. including the planned projects whose construction has not yet started, it is still Egypt that ranks first, with 21,281 rooms (+20% compared to the first quarter of 2021). Morocco ranks second with 7,209 rooms, ahead of Nigeria (5,619), Ethiopia (5,206) and Cape Verde (4,639).
447 hotels and 80,300 rooms
The report also reveals that 42 international or regional hotel chains had, in the first quarter of 2022, projects in 42 African countries for a total of 447 hotels and 80,300 rooms.
By number of rooms, hotel development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa were down 6% compared to the first quarter of 2021. In North Africa, the project pipeline is up 12%.
The only country in sub-Saharan Africa to do well, Cape Verde has seen a 33% increase in the number of rooms under construction or already planned. The usual “engines” of Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa recorded a cumulative decline of 29%.
“This is the first year in a long time that the Sub-Saharan Africa pipeline has shrunk, for three main reasons: fewer new opportunities in the region, the opening of some 2,700 rooms in 15 hotels last year, and a pipeline cleanup that hotel chains do periodically to weed out various projects that are unlikely to happen,” W Hospitality Group points out.
The report also shows that the Accor group remains the chain with the largest pipeline of projects in Africa, with 20,857 rooms spread over 107 hotels.
The American group Marriott (20,248 rooms in 103 establishments) occupies the second step of the podium, ahead of Hilton (10,505 rooms), Radisson (6,248), IHG (3,136), Barceló Hotel Group (2,488), Hyatt (1995), Meliá Hotels & Resorts (1743), Louvre Hotels Group (1273) and Minor Hotels (1203).