Investment in African hotels booms as tourism grows

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

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In what can only be seen as an indicator for great things to come, investment in new hotels in Africa is booming; it is expected to reach as high as $2.1 billion this year according to a forecast by investment management firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

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This is set to increase to $2.4 billion next year and in 2017, which represents an increase of $300 million and only includes investment in new developments. JLL has forecasted a 1.5 percent annual supply growth in North Africa and an average annual supply growth of 3.5 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Xander Nijnens, the senior vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa for JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, said: “The next several years will see a significant evolution in the hotel real estate landscape in Africa and we anticipate that global capital will flow into the sector as and when the right opportunities arise.”

Data from the latest W Hospitality Group hotel chain development pipeline survey revealed the development pipeline for hotels in Africa had grown by 25 percent to 270 hotels from 215 hotels last year.

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Alex Kyriakidis, the president and managing director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa, said Africa was important to the group because of its rapid economic growth, growing middle class and youth population and the expansion of international flights to the continent.

“With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, there are enormous opportunities there,” he said.

JLL also stated that tourist numbers were projected to increase by 5.7 percent a year in Africa compared to 3.2 percent globally up to 2030 and that hotel demand is set to increase at a rate of 5 percent a year between now and 2017.

Read the October Issue of African Business Review.

SOURCE: [Independent Online]

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