, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The number of hotel rooms planned to be built this year on the continent has soared to 64,000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30 percent from the previous year.
This is according to new figures from the eight edition of W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey.
The survey has attributed the increase to strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa, which is up 42.1 percent in 2015 and has significantly outdone North Africa which achieved a 7.5 percent pipeline increase this year.
Nigeria leads the list by 10,222 rooms followed by Angola which made its debut on the list with 7,560 rooms. Others include Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia with 6,660, 5,681, 3,263 and 2,976 rooms respectively.
Kenya is ranked seventh with 16 hotels under development which consist of 2,956 rooms.
The survey also reveals that the continent has indeed come a long way. For instance, in 2009 there were 19 international and regional hotel chains contributing, with a pipeline of 144 hotels and just fewer than 30,000 rooms.
W Hospitality Group Managing Director Trevor Ward, said that the results are evidence that investors remain confident of the hospitality industry on the continent.
“Even when pummelled daily by low commodity prices, exchange rate problems, political challenges and poor infrastructure, Africa remains resilient,” he said in a statement.
The north-south divide on hotel development however continues. According to Ward, in 2011 the number of pipeline rooms in the five countries of North Africa was about 25 per cent higher than that in sub-Saharan Africa but is today less than half.
“There are two reasons why development activity in North Africa is now somewhat subdued. Firstly, the markets there are more mature and have already seen much development, so there are fewer opportunities for new hotels. Secondly, there is the political turmoil – in Libya, which has seen a 40 percent drop in the pipeline, and also Egypt, parts of which are experiencing drastic reductions in the number of tourists,” he explained.