The regional vice president of Hyatt Hotels said that to capitalise on improved travel links and robust economic growth that is boosting demand for rooms, the company plans to double its hotels in Africa by 2020.
Although Hyatt currently has nine hotels in Africa, it lags behind rivals such as AccorHotels, which has more than 100 hotels on the continent and has reserved $1 billion to invest in expansion. A senior executive at Radisson also told Reuters that the company plans to have 120 hotels in Africa by 2021. Radisson currently has 86 hotels operating in Africa.
Kurt Straub, Hyatt’s Vice President of operations for Middle East and Africa said “we are more than doubling our presence on the continent by 2020”. He added that “air travel has improved tremendously, it has become much more open, people are freer to travel. Hyatt is very keen to go where our customers want to go”.
Hyatt Hotels, which has its headquarters in Chicago, already has hotels in Senegal and South Africa. The company plans to have new hotels situated in Addis Abba, Ethiopia and Arusha- a northern Tanzanian city popular with holiday-makers and conference organisers.
Straub who revealed that the project would be implemented in partnership with a local company, said “we are very careful in how we grow. We don’t want to grow for the sake of growing. It is not about the quantity, it is about being in the right place at the right time with the right partner”.