SOUTH AFRICA – Accor SA, the French multinational hotel group has expanded its reach into the African continent by acquiring a 50% stake in the South African- based Mantis Group, according to Business Report.

Mantis group, traded under the name, Mantis Collection is an exclusive collection of privately owned, award-wining, star properties all around the World with 11 properties in 4 countries in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands.

“Mantis is a pioneer in customized, one-of-a-kind travel services in some of the most imaginative hotels across the world,” said AccorHotels Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Sebastien Bazin in a statement.

“With this strategic partnership, we are reinforcing the group’s footprint in Africa.”

The transaction involves 28 hotels that will add to AccorHotels hotels, villas and luxury houseboats.

According to Accor, the deal which seeks to foster growth in emerging economies will be funded by a US$5.4 billion amount from Evry, a France-based company.

However, the deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

The French multinational hotel group, which is part of the CAC 40 index, currently operates more than 200 hotels in the Middle East and Africa and aims to open another 100 in the next five years to capitalize on the continent’s growing population and economy.

It is capitalizing on a new wave of domestic visitors and the continued growth of international tourism, fuelled by growing demand for mid-market options in the continent.

According to Xander Nijnens, Executive Vice President, Hotels & Hospitality Group Sub-Saharan Africa, JLL, the last decade has seen many global operators opening quality hotels in key markets like South Africa, Mauritius and Kenya, supply of new hotels attributed to high occupancy rates of 70%.

Pointing to the fact that Africa is a potential travel market; AccorHotels is the latest global market to strike to strengthen its presence in the hotel segment, showing interest from international players.

In 2014, Marriott International acquired Protea Hotels, a hospitality group based in South Africa for US$210 million, followed with further acquisitions of the brand in Algeria.

Early this year, InterContinental Hotels entered the Algerian hospitality industry with the 242-guestroom Holiday Inn Algiers – Cheraga Tower hotel, the debut attributed to a strong demand for international branded accommodation and a need for world-class hospitality.

The hotel industry in Sub-Saharan Africa has also been an eye-catching adventure with Radisson Hotel Group set to open four upper- and mid-market hotels in Kenya by 2020, while Marriott had signed seven new hotels in East and West Africa, report Zimfocus.

Africa’s appeal was defined by a 5.6% occupancy growth and 7.4% rise in Average Daily Rate (ADR) to US$104.15.