Addis Ababa

Ethiopia leads in hotel development in East Africa according to the latest annual hotel pipeline survey by Lagos-based W Hospitality group. The survey covers the hospitality sector across Africa and will be one of the items on the menu when the Africa hotel Investment Forum returns to Nairobi from 2nd to 4th October.

The increased frequency of commerce and international activity in Addis Ababa has helped enhance demand and attracted hotel chains to put up more rooms. The number of NGOs, international conferences, foreign missions and aid agencies have been key to the process. In addition, government incentives have created a more conducive environment

Apart from the upcoming branded supply in Addis, a large stock of unbranded rooms are under construction although many have stalled, following a drain on cash. According to the survey, the hotel development pipeline in Ethiopia is almost 50 per cent up on last year’s strong figures, with Addis Ababa accounting for 86 per cent of the total, almost 5,000 rooms in 25 hotels.

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“Ethiopia’s hotel expansion is truly impressive. The activity there has been huge, and it is very pleasing to see that investors and operators are now looking to exploit the opportunities outside of Addis Ababa, in the secondary cities and tourism centres.” W Hospitality Group managing director, Trevor Ward said.

Kenya follows Ethiopia with the total number of hotel rooms under construction placed at 2,754. Tanzania also has its place as a major player in the East African hotel industry.

The survey found that Accor Hotels, the international hotel brand, has a huge footprint in the East African region. The hotel chain operates in all the countries in the region including Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Accor has doubled the number of hotels in its development pipeline in the region, achieving a 66 per cent growth in the number of rooms signed.

Another major player, Hilton, is deploying part of its US$50 million Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to help fund growth in the region. The group has been converting hotels to its DoubleTree brand and other brands, and has seen a 51 per cent growth in its pipeline.

This W hospitality pipeline report has 41 contributors, reporting 418 deals with over 100 brands across Africa.

Read; Hotel industry to continue growth over the next five years, report