- According to the annual African hotel pipeline survey conducted by W Hospitality Group and AHIF, the African hotel development scene is led by Egypt, Morocco, Accor, and Marriott. While Sub-Saharan Africa shows a slowdown in hotel investment, investor confidence remains strong, and upscale hotels dominate the pipeline despite a demand for branded budget and midscale accommodations.
The annual African hotel pipeline survey, conducted by W Hospitality Group in association with the Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF), reveals the key players in Africa’s hotel development scene: Egypt, Morocco, Accor, and Marriott. With 42 global and regional contributors, the survey covers hotel development activity across 42 of Africa’s 54 countries, totaling approximately 80,300 rooms in 447 hotels.
Accor and Marriott emerge as the dominant hotel chains in the African hotel pipeline survey, representing a significant portion of the total development pipeline. Morocco and Egypt are leading in terms of rooms currently under construction, with 5,577 and 6,142 rooms respectively. They are followed by Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, and Senegal. Notably, Tunisia, Kenya, and Morocco have over three-quarters of their pipeline in the construction phase. Egypt stands out with 71% of its pipeline still in the planning stage, indicating its relatively recent surge in development activity over the past three years.
Egypt’s Stellar Performance
When considering both planned and under-construction rooms, Egypt emerges as the star performer, leading the country table with over 21,000 rooms in development across 85 hotels. These calculations by African hotel pipeline survey represents a 20% increase from the previous year. Egypt’s pipeline surpasses Morocco’s by almost three times and Nigeria’s by nearly four times. Egypt now accounts for more than 25% of the total hotel development pipeline in Africa. Morocco follows closely with 7,209 rooms in development spread across 50 new hotels, while Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Cape Verde also demonstrate strong development activity.
North African Countries in the Top Ten of African Hotel Pipeline Survey
Four out of the five North African countries, including Egypt and Morocco, secure spots in the top ten of the survey. These top ten countries represent 67% of the total hotels and 74% of the rooms included in the study.
Despite the overall strength of Africa’s hotel development pipeline, there has been a reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, where hotel investment has flourished in recent years. Among the six Sub-Saharan countries in the top ten, only Cape Verde shows an increase in planned rooms, while Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa have experienced a decline of 29% combined. The reduction can be attributed to fewer new opportunities in the region, the opening of existing hotels, and the periodic removal of projects that are unlikely to proceed.
African Hotel Pipeline Survey: Accor, Marriott, and the Hotel Chain Ranking
In terms of development activity among hotel chains, Accor and Marriott rival Egypt and Morocco, each representing over 25% of the entire pipeline. Accor has 20,857 rooms in development across 107 properties, while Marriott boasts 20,248 rooms spread across 103 properties. Hilton follows in third place with 10,505 rooms in 55 hotels, and Radisson secures the fourth position with 6,248 rooms in 35 hotels. Other significant players include IHG, Barceló, Hyatt, Meliá, Louvre, and Minor.
Analyzing the number of rooms under construction alters the hotel chain ranking significantly. While Accor has only 26% of its pipeline under construction, Marriott and Hilton have approximately 57%, and Radisson takes the lead with 85%. Acccording to this African hotel pipeline survey, Marriott claims the top spot in this category, followed by Hilton, Accor, and Radisson. The top ten hotel chains combined account for 82% of all rooms under construction in Africa, with the top four representing 66% of the total, an increase from last year’s 58%.
Factors Influencing Development and Investor Confidence
Trevor Ward, Managing Director of W Hospitality Group, acknowledges that the pandemic has impacted hotel deals’ actualization, with less than 30% of deals signed in 2020 and 2021 coming to fruition due to travel restrictions and decreased demand. However, he expresses optimism about the resilience of investor confidence in the long-term prospects of the hospitality industry.
Ward also highlights the shift toward upscale, upper upscale, and luxury hotel investments, despite strong demand across Africa for branded budget and midscale hotels. This African hotel pipeline survey report presents an opportunity for meeting the demand for affordable quality accommodations.
Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of The Bench and organizer of AHIF, notes the continued confidence in hospitality investment despite the challenges of the pandemic. He cites government initiatives, such as Morocco’s significant investment in infrastructure to attract tourism, as contributing factors. Weihs anticipates AHIF to be a bustling event, facilitating productive networking and announcing more deals than ever before.
About W Hospitality Group and AHIF
With extensive experience in 40 African countries, W Hospitality Group, a member of Hotel Partners Africa, specializes in providing advisory services to the hotel, tourism, and leisure industries, delivering market-leading expertise and commitment to clients.
AHIF, organized by The Bench, is Africa’s premier hotel investment conference, attracting prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, and management companies. The Bench facilitates growth, networking, and thought leadership in the global hospitality industry through various conferences and forums worldwide.