International hotel groups have started recognizing the potential of Africa as a leisure and business destination and are actively investing in new hotels on the continent.

Marriott International continues to gather momentum in Africa following its acquisition of the Protea Hotel Group, with a packed schedule of 30 property openings across the continent by 2020, nine of which will open by end of 2015.

The hotel group recently signed a new property in Uganda, the Residence Inn by Marriott Kampala Kololo, bringing the total property count under the Protea Hotels and Residence Inn brands in Uganda alone to three. A raft of further openings will follow in 2015 across the continent, with openings in South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda as well as Marriott International’s first properties in Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda. Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa, said: “Over the next few years, we plan to expand our presence even further from 10 countries to 17 with a capital investment by Marriott’s real estate partners of $1.5 billion across the continent.”

Among the other hoteliers expanding their offerings on the continent:

• Carlson Rezidor recently announced it is extending its African network and is adding Uganda and Ghana to its growing portfolio. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kampala in Uganda is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the Radisson Blu Hotel Accra Airport, the Exchange in Ghana will open its doors in 2017.

• Hilton Worldwide is eyeing Nigeria and has signed agreements to open two additional Hilton Garden Inn hotels in the West African country. The Hilton Garden Inn at Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport will open its doors in the second quarter of 2017, and the Hilton Garden Inn Owerri is slated to open in the fourth quarter 2017.

• Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced plans to expand its W brand with the opening of the W Marrakech hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. Slated to open in 2017, the W Marrakech will be located in the city's Hivernage district in proximity to Menara Gardens and Marrakech Menara Airport.

• The Wyndham Hotel Group announced expansion plans in Ethiopia. The hotel group signed a management agreement for its first property in Ethiopia, the 136-room Ramada Addis. Wyndham has also announced plans to introduce its flagship Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand to Kenya. With more than 940 rooms now in the pipeline across Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group is set to more than double its presence in the region over the next three years.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI