Top 10 hotel groups in Africa
More than 134mn international tourists are expected to travel to Africa by 2030, according to the World Tourism Organization. Business Chief looks at the 10 largest hotel groups in one of the world’s fastest growing tourism markets.
10. Hyatt Hotels Group – 6 hotels, 4 countries
Hyatt Hotels owns six hotel brands across Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania. In late 2017, Hyatt announced it will double the number of hotels in Africa by 2020, entering four new countries with over 600 new rooms. Hyatt will add six new hotels by the end of 2020, made up of four market entries: Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, Algeria; Hyatt Regency Douala, Cameroon; Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Hyatt Centric Dakar, Senegal. The biggest of its new additions will be the 200 room Hyatt Regency Douala in Cameroon. It is located on two acres of land in the heart of Bonanjo district, the financial hub of Douala.
9. Best Western – 24 hotels, 10 countries
Present in over 100 countries and territories, Best Western expanded into Africa via Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa back in 1999. The company now has hotels in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as hotels across South Africa, Algeria and Ghana. Its key brands are Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier. In 2016, the group opened its third hotel in Nairobi and its first Executive Residency in Africa. Located along Riverside drive, the Executive Residency contains meeting rooms, heated pools and a restaurant located on the rooftop, overlooking one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.
8. Intercontinental Hotels Group – 28 hotels, in 10 countries
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) owns and operates 28 hotels across 10 countries in Africa. In 2017, 14% of its global $1.7bn revenue came from the AMEA region alone. In 2018, the company added the Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport hotel. In partnership with The Lazizi Premiere Limited, the 144-room hotel is located at the Jomo Kenyatte International Airport. It includes a business centre and fully-equipped meeting rooms, spa and gym facilities as well as a stunning view of the Nairobi Mombasa Road which moves more than 50% of all traded goods in East Africa.
7. Hilton Hotels & Resorts – 39 hotels, 14 countries
With hotels in Nairobi, Mauritius, Algeria and Cairo among others, Hilton has already captured a significant corner of the African market. A key hotel is the Hilton Cairo World Trade Center Residences, located on the River Nile, within just 10 minutes of the business district of Cairo, where guests can discover the Egyptian Museum or Egyptian Bazaar Khan El-Khalili. In 2018, parent company Hilton Worldwide Holdings announced that it was to invest $50mn over the next five years to build 100 new hotels in Africa.
6. Louvre Hotels Group – 41 hotels, 13 countries
Founded in 1976 and acquired by Jin Jiang International in 2009, Louvre Hotels Group’s international portfolio boasts more than 3,000 hotels worldwide. In 2016 Louvre set a target of 40 new economy hotels to be built in Africa over five years. These low-end and mid-range Première Classe and Campanile brands combine low-cost and essential comfort, all-you-can-eat breakfast and modern and functional rooms with Wi-Fi access for the modern traveler. In 2018, the company continued its aggressive growth strategy with a multi-brand complex in Casablanca, Morocco. On a plot of over 2,300 sq m, it will offer 124 rooms under the Première Classe brand, 189 under Campanile and 98 under Kyriad.
5. Radisson Hotel Group – 42 hotels, 20 countries
With hotels in 20 countries across Africa, Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel companies. Through its Radisson Blu brand, the company promises a “positive and personalised service in stylish places”. Recognising the growing travel and tourism space, the group added the 296-room Pearl of Africa Hotel Kampala in Uganda, as well as the 152 Radisson Blu Bishoftu in Ethiopia, the 160-room Park Inn Addis Ababa and the 218-luxury room Aso Towers Hotel & Residence Abuja.
4. City Lodge Hotel Group – 59 hotels, 4 countries
City Hotels Group has five Courtyard Hotels, 18 City Lodge Hotels, 13 Town Lodges, 22 Road Lodges, and the 120-room Fairview Hotel. To date, City Lodge Hotel Group now has over 7000 rooms and suites globally, ranking amongst the 250 largest hotel chains in the world. In January 2018 the company opened the Two Rivers Mall, located at Runda on the outskirts of Nairobi. With 171 rooms across four upper floors, featuring retail, entertainment, office and residential elements, Two Rivers is the biggest mixed-use development and mall in East and Central Africa.
3. Tsogo Sun – 96 hotels, 7 countries
From Budget, Select Service and Full Service right through to Luxury, Tsogo Sun’s vision is to provide the “perfect experience” for every kind of guest through its 21 brands. In 2017, the company revealed that it had invested more than $120mn on hotel expansion, construction and refurbishment to ensure its hotels continue to be best in class. This investment included two new hotels, the 202-room SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl and the 30- room StayEasy Cape Town Citybowl.
2. AccorHotels – 114 hotels, 20 countries
With 114 hotels spread across 20 African countries, AccorHotels has come a long way since opening its first Novotel hotel in Cameroon back in 1975. AccorHotels brands include ibis, Mercure, Novotel, Sofitel and Fairmont, as well as two new brands in MGallery and Pullman, located in Ikoyi, Lagos. The 100-room MGallery and 204-room Pullman are both situated in the prime neighborhood of Ikoyi, Lagos and are in close proximity to the business area of Victoria Island. In 2018, the company announced a joint venture partnership with Qatar-based Katara Hospitality to create a $1bn fund to invest in sub-Sahara Africa. The investment fund will target around 40 hotels across a range of both economy and luxury hotels.
1. Marriot International – 149 hotels, 20 countries
Marriott International first entered the African market in 2016 following the acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Marriot Hotels now span 20 countries including Nigeria, Rwanada, South Africa and Tunisia. The company has an ambitious growth strategy, targeting over 200 hotels with more than 37,000 rooms by 2022. In late 2017, Marriott announced seven new hotels, including a debut hotel in Cote D’lvoire – the Abidjan Marriott Hotel. Overlooking the Presidential Palace, the 200-room Abidjan Marriott Hotel sits at the heart of the central business district, and the commercial, financial and administrative centre of Abidjan. Targeting a 2021 open date, the hotel will also include a conference centre, offices, retail facilities and a national library.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.