Hilton and Hyatt to Expand in Africa as Industry Continues to Flourish

Hilton has arranged a plan that will see them invest $50m in a five-year time span and add 100 new hotels to its already burgeoning portfolio. While, Hyatt has an arrangement to put resources into another 6 hotels in Africa by 2020.

This hospitality industry has contributed $165.6bn to Africa’s GDP in 2016. This records for 7.8% of the economy. The figure is expected to additionally ascend by 2.9% this year, as announced by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The tourism industry is also credited for creating 8.8 million jobs, which adds up to 2.4 percent of Africa’s employment. The number of planned hotel chain developments has expanded incredibly since 2009, from 30,000 rooms in 14 hotels to 73,000 rooms in 417 hotels.

Africa’s hotel industry has turned out to be sturdy even with low development since demand has kept on surging, as indicated by Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior VP of advancement at Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Hilton Group.

“Some of the driving forces for increased activity in sub-Saharan Africa are the strong GDP growth in parts of the continent, and a rapid growth of both domestic and international travellers into the market,” says Fitzgibbon. “There is also a shortage of quality hotels in the continent, and as the middle class grows, we are seeing higher demand for the quality hotels.”

69 percent of all the travel spend in Africa in the course of the last year was earned through recreation travel, with the rest procured through business. The travel and tourism industry were the beneficiaries of $28.5bn of investment in this time. This amounts to 6.2 percent of all investment in Africa.

Tejas Shah, Hyatt’s directorof acquisitions and advancement for sub-Saharan Africa sees potential for more promotion and development in Africa on account of the development across the nation.

“The hotel industry has proven to be resilient because Africa starts from a low base when it comes to supply of high-quality hotels in the continent,” he says. “And Africa also has the right demographics for growth in the middle class.”

A reported increase in intra-Africa travel also remains of great interest to the hospitality sector, with 4 out of 10 travelers in Africa being from within the region, Shah said. This domestic market is untapped and has helped in driving development policies towards Africa for some large multi-national firms.

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