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Egypt, Big Five hotel chains dominate Africa hotel pipeline

Egypt and the Big Five (hotel chains) dominate hotel development across Africa. According to the latest African Hotel Chain Development Pipeline report, which documents and analyses the number of hotels being planned and developed in the continent, Egypt commands a market share of 28%, while the Big 5 global hotel chains (comprising Accor, Hilton, IHG, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group) have a market share of 71%.

The Big 5 hotel chains account for 66% of all hotels and 71% of rooms in the African pipeline, the report mentioned.

The survey, conducted by Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, along with the Africa Hospitality Investment Forum, is based on responses from 47 global and African hotel chains, reporting on a pipeline of hotel development activity totaling around 92,000 rooms in 524 hotels, in 41 of Africa’s 54 countries.

Some of the significant trends observed in 2023 include strong growth (more than 9%, in North and sub-Saharan Africa), an increase in very large hotels (the average size of the largest 10 hotels is 770 rooms, up from 723 rooms in 2023) and a rapid growth in resorts, up by 32%.

Egypt dominates a significant portion of the African hotel development pipeline, with nearly 26,250 rooms in 109 hotels.

MAJOR TRENDS

Egypt dominates a significant portion of the African hotel development pipeline, with nearly 26,250 rooms in 109 hotels. The country’s pipeline improved by 19 hotels and around 5,200 rooms in 2023, which was higher than the next four countries put together.

Egypt also has over three times the number of rooms as Nigeria, which ranks second in the survey with 7,622 rooms in 50 hotels. This was followed by Morocco in the third position with 7,169 rooms in 52 hotels and Ethiopia in the fourth place with 5,128 rooms in 31 properties.

The number of resort developments in the African portfolio rose sharply, growing from 24% in 2023 to 30% in 2024, the report stated. Nearly half of the rooms in hotels and resorts which opened in 2023 were in resorts.

Both Boa Vista in Cape Verde and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt score high because of the significantly large average size of the resorts in these destinations. The largest hotel in the pipeline is a Rixos resort being planned in Sharm El Sheikh, which is slated to feature more than 1,800 rooms.

Among the hotel chains, Marriott International retains its top spot for the third consecutive year, with nearly twice the number of pipeline hotels and rooms than Hilton, which stood second. Marriott also had the highest number of rooms added in 2023.

The previous years has seen stiff competition between Marriott and Accor. However, for the second consecutive year, Accor’s pipeline has slipped from a high of around 20,250 rooms in 2022 to 13,375 rooms now.

Marriott also led in terms of hotels under construction, with 138 hotels, totaling 15,011 rooms, currently being developed. This is followed by Hilton (72 hotels, 5,955 rooms), Radisson Hotel Group (35 hotels, 5,748 rooms) and Accor (70 hotels, 3,346 rooms). TUI Hotels & Resorts appeared in the fifth place with 12 hotels totaling 2,208 rooms under construction.

In terms of deal volumes, out of the total 29 chain hotels and resorts which opened in 2023, 10 were located in North Africa and 19 in sub-Saharan Africa. Out of the 19 openings in sub-Saharan Africa, 11 were in East Africa, including six new properties in Tanzania.

DEAL ACTUALIZATION

While the average period of time between signing a project and its opening ranges between four to five years, the report identified 35 projects in the pipeline which were over 10 (or more) years old, including a hotel which was signed 16 years ago.

The past year was slow, when it came to deal actualization. However, this is likely to be offset by a robust 2024. This year will see the top 10 chains open 139 hotels totaling 19,122 rooms, the report said.

“This year, we’ve placed greater emphasis than we have in the past on the actualization, because if the deals don’t become operating businesses, generating profits for the owners and paying fees to the hotel chains, no one’s objectives are being met, are they?” said Trevor Ward, Managing Director, W Hospitality Group.

The pipeline improved by over 9% in 2023, Ward said, adding that this was the highest increase since 2018 and according to CoStar data, this was one of the highest increases globally, outperformed only by the Americas.

In terms of existing number of hotels and those in the development pipeline, the current king of the jungle is Accor, with 165 hotels (totaling 29,041 rooms) open and trading. Marriott follows in the second place (25,451 rooms in 143 hotels), with Hilton (12,525 rooms in 47 hotels) and Radisson Hotel Group (2,179 rooms in 61 properties) ranking third and fourth in the list.

If, however, Marriott manages to deliver all its rooms in its pipeline, it will overtake Accor and become a market leader with 51,816 rooms in operation.

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