Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announces plan to double number of hotels in Africa by 2020
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has announced that it plans to expand its hotels across Africa, doubling the current number.
It plans to open six new hotels by 2020, spanning across four new countries and creating 2,100 new jobs.
Out of the six new builds, four will be market entries: Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, Algeria; Hyatt Regency Douala, Cameroon; Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Hyatt Centric Dakar, Senegal.
The two new hotels that are planned within established markets are Park Hyatt Marrakech, Morocco and Hyatt Regency Arusha, Tanzania. Both will become the third Hyatt-branded hotel in each country.
Hyatt also plans to consider countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire for further opportunities and expansions.
The company has focused its expansion towards East Africa due to the area’s government investments, expanding middle class and recognition of stability. Because of this, Africa has seen an 11% rise in sub-Saharan tourism in the last year.
“The development opportunities for Hyatt in Africa are significant, and we see enormous potential in the region. This expansion reinforces our commitment to developing our pipeline in Africa,” stated Peter Penev, Vice President Acquisitions and Development for Hyatt.
“With the introduction of a Pan-African, visa-free passport next year alongside the continued improvement in the connectivity and growth of the region’s airlines, we expect tourist and business travel will only continue to increase.”
Hyatt’s new hotels will vary from terminally-linked airport hotels to large, 200-room buildings with 1,200 metres squared of event facilities.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”