Francophone Africa has been identified as a strategic growth point for major international hotel brands.
The region, which consists of an estimated 26 French-speaking countries, has become one of the world’s most competitive and lucrative deal making environments.
The countries include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, The DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mali, and Senegal, among others
In a market first, a high-profile event titled the FrancoReal Summit taking place in Dakar, Senegal on the 16th and 17th of October, 2018, will provide the platform for hospitality leaders from the Radisson Hotel Group, Mangalis Hotel Group and Accorhotels to engage with regional investors and developers.
According to global consulting company, Horwath HTL France’s Managing Partner, Philippe Doizelet, there has been a measurable uptick in activity due to the historically low penetration of international operators in the market.
“Investment opportunities within the hotel sector in French-speaking Africa are on the rise,” he explained.
“This rise in sentiment is predominantly explained by the lack of quantitative and qualitative supply in some regions, with many hotels not being able to respond to the increasing demand,” Doizelet continued.
With 50% of its Africa deals in 2018 taking place in the Francophone Region, one international operator focused on the region is the Radisson Hotel Group, says its Director of Business Development, Erwan Garnier.
“The Radisson Hotel Group has identified Francophone Africa as a key market, and we’re aggressively expanding within the region to become the market leader. Our objective is to double our current Francophone presence to 40 hotels with over 9,000 rooms in the market by 2022,” Garnier stated.
Currently operating in 12 markets, Radisson’s growth strategy is matched by AccorHotels and Mangalis and other international and regional chains, who are upping the ante in the region said Doizelet.
“The market is currently dominated by Accor and the Radisson Hotel Group which continue their development in the region. Other international groups actively looking for new development opportunities in the region, are namely Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Kempinski, as well as regional groups including Azalaï, Mangalis and Onomo,” he added.
Considered a regional specialist brand, but with a robust international management team, the Mangalis Hotel Group hopes to become the preeminent brand in the region says its chief executive officer, Olivier Jacquin.
“By 2022, Mangalis will be the regional hotel operating leader with 20 properties in operation and under development offering 2 600 over rooms in the various segments of the industry,” Doizelet elaborated.
With such ambitious plans to scale, 2019 is set to be a significant year for the nimble and fast-growing brand as they launch four of their Noon branded hotels in Benin, Niger and Ivory Coast.
With a significant number of brands entering the market, growth at this juncture remains constrained to the midscale pricing bracket, as there remains only a few locations for high-end developments says Doizelet.
With more than 150 senior executives from across the region, South Africa and internationally, providing the platform for delegates to conduct business deals and gather insights is a crucial focus for the FrancoReal Summit says it host, API Events’ Kfir Rusin.
“Francophone Africa is growing in interest for our African and international stakeholders, many of whom have expressed a keen interest in the market across all sectors. From a hospitality perspective, we have Mangalis Hotel Group’s CEO Olivier Jacquin, the Radisson’s Erwan Garnier, Accor Hotels’ Redah Faceh, and Horwath HTL France’s managing partner Philip Doizelet, who are the region’s most active dealmakers and analysts speaking at the Summit,” said Rusin.
Mangalis Hotel Group’s Olivier Jacquin believes the Francoreal Summit will bring key property stakeholders together.
“Such an event is not only the opportunity to showcase the region, but it is also a platform to bring all the key stakeholders together (investors, operators, buyers etc.). So, needless to say, that FrancoReal Summit is very welcomed, especially in Dakar, as one of the fast-moving Francophone Africa capitals,” Jacquin concluded.