More Than 300 Hotels Planned In Sub-Saharan Africa

The single biggest market for new hotel developments is Nigeria.

By Liz Bains on
19th June 2023

Sub-Saharan Africa had a hotel development pipeline of 307 hotels and 47,750 rooms as of early 2023, according to W Hospitality Group.

It is the first time the number of hotels planned for the region has crossed 300, reflecting a rebound of confidence in the market following the pandemic. About 58% of the hotels are already in construction.

The Nigeria-based consultant publishes an annual report on the hotel development pipeline in Africa. The latest report released in March is based on a survey of 45 international and African hotel chains.

Looking at the regions within Sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa has the largest pipeline with 20,932 rooms planned or under construction. East Africa follows with 14,911. 

Hotel development pipeline by region
Hotel development pipeline by region
Source: W Hospitality Group

The single biggest market for new hotel developments in Sub-Saharan Africa is Nigeria, with 42 hotels and 6,772 rooms in the pipeline. During 2022, 11 new deals were signed for hotel developments in Nigeria, including four to be operated by Marriott International. The year also saw two hotel openings. 

The report notes that Nigeria has been enjoying considerable deal signing activity despite facing serious economic challenges.

Ethiopia has the second-largest hotel development pipeline, with 33 hotels and 6,129 rooms planned or under construction. 

Other markets with significant hotel pipelines include Kenya (25 hotels and 3,729 rooms), Cape Verde (14 and 3,660 rooms), and South Africa (21 hotels and 2,768 rooms).

The report observes that the size of the hotels planned in Cape Verde is higher than the average across Africa, at 261 rooms. This compares with an average of 175 rooms across the total pipeline for the continent.

Countries with the largest hotel pipeline
Countries with the largest hotel pipeline
Source: W Hospitality

Africa as a whole had a hotel development pipeline of 482 hotels and 84,427 rooms as of early 2023, with Egypt the largest market (103 hotels and 24,944 rooms).

The city with the biggest pipeline in Sub-Saharan Africa is Addis Ababa (4,508 rooms), followed by Lagos (3,525) and Nairobi (3,161).

Cities with the largest hotel pipeline
Cities with the largest hotel pipeline
Source: W Hospitality

The hotel chain with the largest development pipeline in Africa as of March 2023 was the US’ Marriott International with 123 properties, followed by France’s Accor with 89.

Hotel chains with largest hotel pipeline
Hotel chains with largest development pipeline
Source: W Hospitality

Since the report was published, there have been further announcements about hotel developments in Africa. Radisson Hotel Group has revealed plans for seven new hotels in Africa, adding a combined 1,400 rooms, including developments in Kenya, Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria, South Africa and Reunion Island. 

The company is aiming to increase its Africa footprint to 150 hotels within the next five years, from 100 hotels currently.

Its new Sub-Saharan Africa projects revealed this year include:
•    A new-build 249-room hotel and conference centre in Abuja, Nigeria, located next to the Presidential Palace in Maitama District.
•    A new-build 462-room beach resort hotel with conference facilities in Banjul, Gambia, scheduled to open in 2025.
•    A new-build 62-room hotel to open in Lagos at the end of 2025.
•    A new-build 200-room hotel at Nairobi airport due to open mid-2027.

In June, Marriott International also announced five new deal signings in Africa: in Nigeria, Tanzania, Botswana and Ethiopia. Three of the deals were for conversions of existing hotels. 

The company commented that while there is still demand for new build projects, it is currently seeing an uptick in conversion opportunities. The two new hotels are planned for Botswana (155 rooms to open in 2026) and Abuja in Nigeria (144 guestrooms to open in 2027).

Marriott International’s current portfolio in Africa comprises nearly 140 properties and more than 24,000 rooms across 20 countries and 19 brands. 

Top photo: Radisson Nairobi Airport Hotel (Supplied by Radisson)

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