The Chief Executive Officer of Accor South Africa, Mark Willis said the company plans to open 60 new hotels in 14 countries in Africa in the next four years.
During the next two years, the European hotel operator will open more than half of them in Egypt, which Willis said is rebounding after “external factors” hurt the industry.
In an interview in Nairobi, Kenya, Willis said “Egypt is resurrecting after 10 years of a tough situation”. He noted that Egypt has overtaken Kenya’s coastal region as the preferred destination for European tourists and investors, while revenue per available Accor room there has risen 20 percent year on year.
Willis revealed that Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa “is not at the forefront of people’s minds today”. He said only one of the target hotels will be in the East African nation known for safaris and beach tourism.
Africa has sustained unprecedented rates of economic growth, driven chiefly by sturdy domestic demand, better macroeconomic management and improving political stability.
Key markets in Accor’s growth plan include Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa, where it will open ten, seven and three hotels respectively by 2020. Willis said Accor has 143 hotels in Africa, 63 of them south of the Sahara, and will promote its Movenpick luxury brand.
The hotel group will finance the growth with more than $1 billion from the Kasada Fund set up by Katara Hospitality and Accor in 2018 for sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Willis, Accor invested $150 million, while the Qatar Investment Authority unit put in $350 million. The remaining $500 million will be raised through bank loans.
Willis said Accor has considered introducing its home-sharing platform Onefinestay in Kenya, but the continent is still immature for that type of product due to reasons such as security.