Africa’s Hotel Industry Optimistic About Future Business

As Africa’s hospitality industry continues to grapple with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey uncovered that 57 percent of hotel owners remain optimistic about future business.

The survey, which was conducted by HTI Consulting, polled 14 regional companies, including such brands as Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group and Accor Hotels.

“Despite closures and significant performance declines, long-term investment fundamentals for the Sub-Saharan region remain positive despite significant short to mid-term challenges currently impacting the sector,” said HTI Consulting CEO Wayne Troughton. “Of a total 219 hotel projects currently in the Sub Saharan African pipeline, a large proportion (68 percent) of these projects are proceeding as planned, with only 18 percent currently on hold for a limited period and 13 percent on hold indefinitely.

He added, “Concerns amongst hotel owners are, of course, still apparent and, for several, a ‘wait and see’ approach relates to factors such as uncertainty around travel ban lifts in various markets, how to restore guest confidence and the impact of COVID-19 on hotel valuations. However, the optimism displayed by many owners generally relates to an understanding of the sector and the adoption of a longer-term outlook.”

As a case in point, Troughton noted that there are 21 projects underway, which would result in 2,946 hotel rooms in 15 African countries scheduled to debut this year.

In all, there are 219 branded hotels in the Sub Saharan Africa development pipeline, which represents 33,698 rooms in 38 markets in the broad Sub Saharan Africa development pipeline.

“East Africa remains the region with the strongest hotel pipeline, followed by West and then Southern Africa. East Africa has 88 branded hotels currently in the pipeline, West Africa sees 84 branded hotels in its pipeline with Southern Africa sitting on 47 hotels,” Troughton said

Of the 21 hotel projects expected to debut this year, “East Africa (40 percent of total supply) will see 1,134 rooms come on board, with the top cities being Antananarivo (22 percent), Dar es Salaam (20 percent) and Addis Ababa (20 percent),” according to the survey.

There are also 719 rooms set to be added in West Africa this year in such cities as Accra, Bamako and Cape Verde.

In Southern Africa, 963 rooms are scheduled to debut in 2020, the lion’s share of which are slated for Johannesburg (71 percent) and Durban (21 percent).

“Despite current challenges and the overall uncertainty that trouble us all, there will be better times ahead and the travel market will eventually emerge stronger and more resilient,” Troughton said.

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