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Top investors in Africa’s hotel industry

In the next five years, Africa’s hospitality industry will be dictated by global brands, if the current trend is anything to go by as the continent is now the world’s most attractive for investors in the tourism industry. Below are the top hotel chains investing on the continent according to Africa Attractiveness Survey, African Hotel Report 2017

1. Marriot International

America’s international luxury hotel, Marriot International, is among the global giants putting their money where their mouth is. The hospitality chain is setting up shop in Kampala, Kigali, Nairobi and Zanzibar.

The firm is constructing the $98.9 million (Sh10.1 billion) JW Marriot Hotel next to Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi’s Westlands to be hosted in a building owned by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) International Real Estate. Marriott is also acquiring two properties in Uganda, where it has been operating the Protea Hotel for the past two years, after acquiring South Africa-based Protea Hospitality Holding.

2. Hilton Worldwide

The American group Hilton, with 39 hotels in 17 African countries, intends to double its presence to 80 hotels by 2020 with new openings and extensions in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. Hilton Worldwide is set to open its first hotel in Kigali, where it is planning to upscale the 153-room Ubumwe Grand Hotel in Rwanda to trade under the name Double Tree by Hilton when the work is completed in 2018.

In addition, Hilton is rebranding Nairobi’s Amber Hotel to a tune of $50 million (Sh5.1 billion) and further developing a 171-room hotel known as Garden Inn near the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The luxury chain is third in Kenya and 50th in Africa and will be a 255-room establishment in Upper Hill that will be housed in The Pinnacle, which will be the tallest building in Africa.

3. InterContinental Hotels Group

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is a European company and is the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms and is headquartered in Denham, United Kingdom. IHG possesses over 744,000 rooms and 6,028 hotels in nearly 100 countries.

The group has a portfolio of famous hotel brands under which it operates, such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza, among others. It employs 28,589 people worldwide. The company has 25 hotels in nine African markets with three developments in the pipeline. Its biggest market, South Africa, holds the lion’s share of 10 hotels.

4. Radisson Blu

Brussels-based global hotels group, Carlson Rezidor, is set to open an additional four hotels in Kenya in the next three years creating an estimated 1,000 jobs. The firm expects to open the upper mid-market Park Inn, and Residence hotels by the end of April and December, respectively.

The firm, which has two hotels under the Red brand and is set to open the third outlet in Cape Town in September, also has interest in bush tourism. It is also set to grow the Quervos collection, a luxury brand, in Africa aggressively and has begun by unveiling The Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala.

The group first entered Africa 16 years ago when it opened the Radisson Blu in Cape Town. Other brands under the group include the Radisson, Country Inns, Park Plaza and Hotel Missoni.

5. The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA)

The Libyan sovereign wealth fund, LIA, has been actively investing in hotels in Africa through its subsidiary Laico which means Libyan African Investment Company. The fund owns hotel chain Laico Hotels & Resorts, which also owns the Ensemble Hotel Holdings group, proprietor of the high-prestige Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg.

The company has 10 properties of four-star and five-star hotels with more than 2,200 rooms through two brands: Laico and Ledger. Most of its acquisitions were targeting three-star to five-star hotels and are managed by international operators.

6. Hyatt Hotels Corporation

This year, the global chain announced plans to open six new hotels in Africa in the next three years. One of these hotels will be in Arusha, Tanzania, and another in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, with plans to expand to Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire underway. Hyatt already has two hotels in Tanzania, and one in South Africa, two in Morocco and one in Egypt.

7. The Pearl of Africa Hotel

The Pearl of Africa Hotel, which already has a presence in South Africa, officially launched in the Ugandan capital, Kampala last month. Hyatt’s primary focus on East Africa stems from the governments’ continued investment in infrastructure, an expanding middle class and a growing international recognition of the region’s stability, all contributing to an 11 per cent growth in sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year alone.

8. Dubai-based luxury resort company (One & Only)

One & Only Resorts Ltd is known for developing and operating resorts, hotels, and casinos in many parts of the world. Its facilities offer venues for meetings and events, villas, penthouses, guest rooms and suites, sporting and leisure activities, tennis, golf, lagoons, spas, fitness centres, and fine dining services. The company has two new properties in Rwanda, One & Only Nyungwe House and One & Only Gorilla’s Nest.

9. Accor Hotels Group

This is a French multinational hotel group that operates in almost 100 countries with more than 4,000 hotels. Due to its mega-deal in Angola, it leads the table of planned hotels and rooms by hotel chain, rather than by brand.

AccorHotels has signed a Management Agreement for a portfolio of 50 hotels in Angola, with the first opening November 2016, the Ibis Styles Luanda Talatona. This group of hotels has established 62 hotels in 12 countries in Africa summing up to 9,761 rooms.

10. Wyndham Hotel Group

It was the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,540 hotels as at 2014. Recently, the group announced the signing of three new hotels in Ethiopia following last year’s opening of its first Ramada brand in the country, the Ramada Addis Ababa.

Its existing portfolio on the continent includes five hotels and 819 rooms operated via franchise agreements under the Ramada and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham brands across Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia. The group’s pipeline now comprises two hotels in Kenya, one each under the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Ramada brand flags, two Ramada hotels in Tanzania and another Ramada hotel in Nigeria.

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