Hotel Marriot, Cape Town

International hotel brands, Marriot and Accor still dominate hotel development in Africa’s hospitality markets according to the 2019 Hotel Pipeline Survey by W Hospitality Group. The survey, which is the most authoritative in the industry, released its 11th annual report which shows that Africa had more than 75,000 rooms in 401 hotels in the pipeline as of 2019.

The data shows that the number of hotel pipeline developments in Africa in 2019 decreased by 1.5% even though it was 12 per cent more than in 2017, and that nearly 100 hotels opened in Africa in 2017/18 with a total of 16,000 rooms.

W Hospitality’s Managing Director, Trevor J Ward, said the growth of the global chains’ presence in Africa is a positive narrative, citing this year’s slight decrease as due to them “cleaning” their pipeline, deleting deals that they believe are not going to happen.

“So while the 2019 total is slightly down, overall there has been growth of 51% in total pipeline rooms since 2015, and in that time, North Africa has grown by 58% and sub-Saharan Africa by 47%,” he said.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, has the biggest pipeline in Africa in terms of planned hotels, 42% more hotels and 25% more rooms than second-placed Accor. However, in absolute terms, Accor beat the pack in 2018, with a net increase of 3,400 rooms in 15 hotels. Hilton and Marriott signed around 2,000 and 3,600 rooms respectively, but saw a net reduction in their pipelines, due to openings and “cleaning”.

“There are almost 200 hotels due to open this year and next. We estimate, conservatively, that they will create around 30,000 direct jobs when they open, with some commentators estimating that each wage earner supports five other family members. And indirect and induced employment could total another 150,000 people,” Trevor Ward said.

Last year, Accor partnered with Qatar based Katara hospitality to mobilize a $1bn fund geared towards hotel investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Accor has already announced that it will open a 334-room Pullman in Nairobi’s Westlands area, slated for the last quarter of 2019.