Marriott International tops the list for the most planned new hotel rooms under construction in Africa, according to the annual hotel pipeline survey by W Hospitality Group.
The operator currently has a development pipeline of 93 new hotels comprising 17,708 rooms in Africa. Almost 50% of those rooms – 8,587 – are already under construction. Hilton is ranked second, with 6,352 rooms under construction, and the Radisson Hotel Group is third with 4,840 rooms currently being built.
AccorHotels, in fourth place, signed its deals relatively recently, in 2016 and 2017, and 36% of rooms in its pipeline are under construction. Best Western has just over 91% of its pipeline rooms onsite. Louvre and Meliã, both have all their pipeline rooms under construction.
The W Hospitality Group ranking for individual hotel brands has Radisson Blu with the largest number of rooms under construction – beating the Hilton brand by over 300 rooms. Hilton has two other brands in the Top 10, Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton – boosted by the chain’s US$50 million Hilton Africa Growth Initiative.
This year’s pipeline report, now in its 10thedition, has 41 contributors, reporting 418 deals with over 100 brands. Year-on-year performance for Africa in 2018 shows growth, but more muted than in recent years – 25% growth in the number of pipeline rooms in 2015; 19% in 2016, and 13% in 2017, much the same as the 13.5% growth in 2018.
W Hospitality Group managing director Trevor Ward said in a statement: "Of the total 76,322 rooms in the African pipeline, almost 34,000 rooms are said by the chains to have scheduled openings this year and in 2019. The reality on ground, however, is that 4,000 of those rooms were not even under construction as at the time of our data collection - which was the first quarter of 2018. It would not therefore be amiss of us to suggest that there is a degree of over-optimism on the part of the chains regarding their expansion plans."
Details of the report will be one of the discussions at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which the Kenyan government recently announced will return to Nairobi, in October this year.