October 17, 2021


The travel folks

What is fueling rapid hotel growth in West Africa?

5 min read

Right now, Africa is seen as 1 of the most promising areas for lodge developers. Apart from modest chains and independents, four world lodge groups dominate signings and openings on the continent. In excess of the very last four rolling quarters, as of September 2019, Accor, Hilton, Marriott Intercontinental and Radisson Hotel Team have opened 2,800 rooms and signed promotions for six,600 rooms. Throughout Africa, lodge development continues to be vital in most highly developed economies, these kinds of as Morocco and South Africa and tasks are multiplying in East Africa, specially in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In West Africa, Nigeria is again on the development scene thanks to rising regional destinations past Abuja and Lagos. Francophone Africa is also transferring rapid. The Ministry of Tourism of Ivory Coastline has introduced an ambitious national system for tourism development, Elegant Cote d’Ivoire, and by now declared above US$1bn investment decision in the sector. Senegal is the other regional star, with regional programmes these kinds of as Diamnadio, Lac Rose near Dakar and Pointe Sarene. Other nations around the world demonstrating active lodge development contain Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, and Togo.  

Now, in an interview, Philippe Doizelet, Taking care of Husband or wife, Hotels, Horwath HTL, West Africa’s main hospitality advisor, in conjunction with the Discussion board de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), the leading lodge investment decision convention in Francophone Africa, has determined four basic aspects which are fueling an rising flow of investment decision into the hospitality sector in West Africa. They are, in alphabetical purchase: Air connectivity, Improved economic development, Forex and Demographics.

In the earlier number of many years, further flight connections have reworked vacation to and from West Africa, which, in the text of Philippe Doizelet, Taking care of Husband or wife, Hotels, Horwath HTL, has been a recreation changer. He said: “It made use of to be that the major hubs for flying among West African nations around the world were being Paris and Casablanca. Nonetheless, thanks to the speedy development of Ethiopian Airlines and other carriers, these kinds of as Emirates, Kenya Airways and Turkish, the circumstance has adjusted and new routes are provided to tourists. For instance, it is now doable to fly direct from New York to Abidjan, where by the African Growth Financial institution is located, and to Lomé, where by the Central Financial institution of West African States (BOAD) is situated… and with increased vacation comes increased commerce and desire for accommodation.” According to the UNWTO, worldwide vacationer arrivals in Africa grew by seven% in 2018, 1 of the fastest development fees in the world together with East Asia and the Pacific. The flight details analysts lately confirmed that trend continuing. In 2019, African aviation expert seven.five% development and it is the stand-out development sector for Q1 2020. As at onest January, worldwide outbound bookings were being ahead twelve.five%, 10.% to other African nations around the world and ahead 13.five% to the rest of the world. As a place, Africa is also established to do nicely, as bookings from other continents are currently ahead by twelve.nine%.

The 2nd issue is the exceptional economic development of many West African nations around the world, which are growing substantially more rapidly than many of the world’s most highly developed economies. According to Earth Financial institution details for 2018, many, these kinds of as Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coastline and Senegal are expanding at six% per annum or greater, a lot more than double the world normal, 3%. That is a strong attraction to worldwide buyers. Nonetheless, which is not all as prosperity grows domestically, so much too does the regional financial providers field. It then appears to be like to commit consumer monies and a good proportion of that funds gravitates in the direction of true estate tasks and, in change, new domestic infrastructure. As all those tasks occur to fruition, a lot more prosperity is produced and so a virtuous cycle is stimulated, which functions as a catalyst for further more economic development.

Forex is the third issue. Afterwards this calendar year, the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro, is prepared to be dropped and fifteen nations around the world in West Africa (ECOWAS) will undertake the Eco, a new, absolutely free-floating, typical currency, designed to reduce the value of performing business among them and so increase trade. Nonetheless, while there is fantastic enthusiasm for the Eco, it is relatively capable mainly because the economies of collaborating nations around the world are at distinct levels of development and governments might discover it difficult to adhere to agreed rules for controlling their economies.

The fourth issue is demographics. The inhabitants is youthful and the fastest expanding of any big world location. According to Philippe Doizelet, it is also characterised by a starvation to discover and self confidence about the foreseeable future. “People are looking at their expectations of residing enhance and they are keen to seize prospects. We are looking at that way of thinking reflected in the course of the hospitality field it is very refreshing and it is attracting business.” He said.

Nonetheless, the photograph is not all rosy. Horwath HTL also identifies four aspects which threaten economic progress they are protection difficulties, political agenda, governance and rising general public personal debt. Though Africa currently experiences a great deal significantly less conflict than it did a few or four many years back, when most African nations around the world expert war, some elements of the Sahel are even now subject matter to protection threats. On the political entrance, even though democracy is continuing to distribute, it is not still the common rule everywhere you go, specially when occur the situations of big elections. 3rd is governance. Philippe Doizelet claims: “When persons are lousy and the point out is weak, there will be corruption, but I’m not convinced that it is a great deal even worse than in other elements of the world.” The fourth issue is growing general public personal debt, a great deal of which has been incurred as long-expression financial loans from the Chinese to create infrastructure. That said, the personal debt to GDP ratio of many West African states is even now significantly less than many hugely produced nations.

Matthew Weihs, Taking care of Director, Bench Activities, which organises FIHA, concluded: “Africa is not the least complicated position to do business, but it is an very enjoyable position mainly because the prospects substantially outweigh the threats. Each and every time we organise a lodge investment decision forum, I see a lot more lodge openings remaining declared and I fulfill new gamers keen to enter the sector. The FIHA delegates are practically developing the foreseeable future of Africa in entrance of our eyes and anyone who attends the convention has the prospect to sign up for in.” FIHA usually takes position at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, March 23-twenty five.

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