Hilton turns to Africa for growth targeting Rwanda and Botswana entry

KENYA – The American hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide Holdings plans to more than double the number of its hotels in Africa in the next five years and is considering entry into countries such as Botswana and Rwanda where it is not present, reports Reuters.

The expansion will be mainly through a deal or partnership with existing hotels to adopt the Hilton hotels brand, said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of the company in a statement issued during a hotel industry meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

According to him, Hilton plans to introduce its Curio Collection, an upscale brand, on the continent, starting with a hotel at Lagos airport in Nigeria.

“This hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region,” he said.

“Hilton is seeing strong demand for its brands across the continent and expects to open eight hotels in total across Africa this year [2018].”

The hotels and resort brand which operates 41 open hotels and 53 in development in Africa, is seeking to leverage its activities on a continent continuing to undergo rapid urbanisation.

Africa growth

The investment in new facilities forms part of the firm’s Africa Growth initiative launched in 2017 to support expansion of its Sub-Saharan African portfolio with US$50 million investment.

According to a UN report, the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035.

International chains such as Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels have been increasing their investments on the continent which has some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a rising middle class.

Other big international hotel groups, including Radisson and Kempinski, are estimated to have about a third of the available room capacity on the continent.

The rest are independently run hotels, offering opportunities to global operators to strike deals with their local counterparts.

Marriott’s US$250m expansion plan

US multinational diversified hospitality company Marriott International on 1 October revealed US$250m Africa expansion plans, saying momentum for growth on the continent was driven by strong demand for select-service brands and conversion opportunities.

The expansion would involve five new hotel signings that will consolidate its presence in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa and mark the company’s entry into Mozambique.

The urge to spread across Africa is helped by Marriott’s acquisition of Protea Hotels followed by the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

The continent’s traction to international brands is attributed to strong domestic demand, improved macroeconomic management and increased political stability.

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