Starwood Hotels discusses Africa expansion plans

AFRICA Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide plans to expand in South Africa and is eyeing several other markets across the continent for future growth, the company’s regional development chief says.

Starwood is aiming to add two or three new-build hotels in Cape Town and another three or four in Johannesburg in the medium-term, according to Patrick Finn, senior director of acquisitions and development for Africa and the Middle East. Finn made the comments to Reuters during the Hotel Investment World Africa 2010 conference this week in Cape Town.

“We have nine brands under the Starwood umbrella and would like to see multiple brands in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, where we don’t have any current presence, with our nearest hotel in Pretoria,” Finn says. “The target would be signing up these projects in the very near term with opening dates that are two to three years out.”

Starwood is also exploring additional markets in East Africa, including Kenya, Angola and Tanzania, Finn says. In Tanzania, the company may manage some hotels in game parks.

Finn said Starwood was also looking to expand in East Africa, specifically in regional economic power Kenya, and Tanzania, where it was eyeing game park-themed hotels.