AHIF is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers.
The following news broke at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2014, which took place last week at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa.
InterContinental Hotels Group: Announced the signing of the 210-key Crowne Plaza Addis Ababa which represents the company’s entry into Ethiopia. Catering to business travelers, the new hotel marks the sixth Crowne Plaza hotel in Africa and adds to the company’s growing presence in the continent.
Wyndham Hotel Group: Revealed the signing of a management agreement for the company’s first property in Ethiopia, the 136-room Ramada Addis. Upon opening in the first half of next year, Ramada Addis will offer 128 guest rooms and eight suites.
Accor: confirmed its first hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for early 2017. Hotel Pullman Addis Ababa, an upscale hotel, will be located right in front of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Conference Center. Construction has already started. Pullman Addis Ababa will propose 330 rooms, 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 7 board and meeting rooms, 1 Connectivity Lounge, 1 Fitness and Spa center, 1 pool. “Signing our first hotel, here, in Addis Ababa under the Pullman brand is a real honor. I wish to thank our partner, Enyi General Business PLC, represented by Endale Yirga, for the trust given to Accor”, said Antoine Guego, Chief Executive Officer for Accor Africa and Indian Ocean.
Accor also announced the opening of its first hotel in Nairobi, Kenya under the Pullman brand. Hotel Pullman Nairobi Westlands, an upscale hotel, will be located in the business district of Nairobi close to all national and international institutions and the bubbling city center. Pullman Nairobi Westlands will be open in 2016 and will have 320 rooms, 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 8 board and meeting rooms, 1 Connectivity Lounge, Fitness and Spa with a rooftop pool.
Best Western International Inc:, along with Great Abyssinia Plc and Noah Real Estate Plc announced the development of two Best Western brand hotels in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Best Western Plus and Best Western hotels, are scheduled for opening in 2015 and 2016 respectively. These properties will be the 1st Best Western brand hotels in Ethiopia.
Marriott International: continues to gather momentum with a packed schedule of 30 expected property openings across the continent by 2020, 9 of which are scheduled to open by end of 2015 in South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda, as well as Marriott International’s first properties in Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda. By 2020, in Africa, Marriott International is expected to go from 120 properties, 14,000 rooms across 10 markets, to 150 properties with 19,000 rooms across 17 markets. As a result, the company which currently employs 21,000 associates across Africa will see its work-force increase by 10,000.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts: will expand itspresence in Nigeria with the signing of four points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene. Scheduled to open in 2015, Four Points in Akwa Ibom will be the 10th Starwood Hotel in Nigeria, further strengthening the company’s presence in the country. Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene will be the first high-rise tower in Ikot Ekpene as well as the first purpose-built internationally branded hotel in the iconic town.
W Hotels Worldwide to enter Morocco: The entrance of the W brand into Morocco with W Marrakech, anticipated to open in 2017, will bring cutting-edge design and contemporary luxury to the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Marrakech. Starwood currently has three hotels in Morocco, including Le Méridien N’Fis in Marrakech as well as Le Royal Mansour Méridien and Sheraton Casablanca Hotel & Towers both located in Casablanca.
Carlson Rezidor: Will extend their African network and add two new countries to their growing portfolio: Uganda and Ghana. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Kampala - Carlson Rezidor’s first property in Uganda – will feature 195 keys. It will be located in Kampala’s prime business district and open in 2016. The Radisson Blu Hotel Accra Airport, The Exchange in Ghana will comprise 207 keys and welcome the first guests in 2017. With 30 hotels under development, the group holds the largest pipeline on the continent.
Hilton Worldwide: announced two Hilton Garden Inn signings for Nigeria in Owerri and Abuja Airport; as well as unveiling its new modular Hilton Garden Inn hotel that is being introduced by the company for coming African projects.
Mangalis: The African born hospitality group, unveiled its latest revolutionary economy brand: Yaas Hotels. The new hotel brand is following last year´s launch of Noom Hotels and Seen Hotels, in the upscale and the midscale segments respectively, completing the group pipeline of 16 hotels in 13 African countries. Yaas Hotels is following the path set by Noom and Seen, merging avant-garde design nurtured by the senses of natural materials, with high-tech features and service, in the right place, right time and with the right human touch expected by the guests.
Areen Hospitality: a London-based design practice will continue to work closely with Lagos-based DAA Architects on the interior design for the 150-room Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Ibadan, Nigeria. It will be the city’s first internationally branded hotel and will become the focal point for doing business in the city. Areen Hospitality is also working on all the interiors of the 200-room ‘Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra’, a resort and business hotel located in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Worldhotels: expanded into Africa by joining forces with the Azalaï Hotels Group. Six Azalaï Hotels will join the Worldhotels’ portfolio of 500 hotels. Azalaï is the first African private hotel chain in West Africa and Worldhotels is blazing the trail with their renowned global sales mix and expertise. Both are pioneers in their own corners of the market. It’s Worldhotels’ trusted sales presence that will help expand Azalaï’s reach beyond West Africa.
Taj Group: part of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, is currently exploring a number of management contract opportunities across Sub Saharan Africa for its Upper Upscale ‘Vivanta by Taj’ brand.
Colliers International: released a report on Egypt, which states that the country is currently going through a period of economic recovery, with tourism and hospitality at the forefront.
Horwath: Reported that as opposed to the rest of Africa, which has experienced important tourist growth in the last decades, tourism in West Africa remains marginal. The level of social and political stability in the region are diverse, with several countries being considered as stronghold of democracy. The economic outlook of the region, in particular of the business tourism sector, remains promising.
Jumeirah Group: The global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, appointed Aboudi Asali as Senior Vice President Development for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Asali takes up the leadership of the MEASA development team from Cherif Hosny, who left the company in August 2014.
HVS: announced the opening of its new offices in South Africa’s Cape Town. HVS’s move into South Africa comes as a result of growing interest from hotel investors across the African continent.
Expedia: launched a new tablet app that presents a fresh way for travelers to shop destinations: new search tools that enable consumers to shop for both hotels and flights on one screen, simply by selecting a destination. This is a stark contrast to the user interface seen across the industry.