Kenya and South Africa are projected to become the continent’s leaders in terms of luxury hotel growth, a new report released in collaboration with the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) London exhibition has confirmed.
The report, titled ‘Top 100 Cities Destination Ranking 2017’ is the twelfth annual edition of an industry study released by global market research firm, Euromonitor.
The data was founded on research carried out in 100 countries and is based on international arrivals who spend 24 or more hours in a city.
In the report, South Africa has been touted as a key market entry point for investors and developers venturing into Airbnb rentals, as the sector is expected to see a 32% growth in 2017.
Noting that Johannesburg is the only Sub Saharan African city named in the top 100 City Destinations, Estelle Verdier, the Chief Operations Officer for hospitality giant, Jumia Travel and the company’s former Managing Director stressed the need for Kenya and the East African region to build on key factors that helped the South African city secure its ranking.
“Opening up the skies to aviation industry players, showcasing our hotels and flights as well as targeted destination marketing are some of the key factors that players can explore,” she explained.
A parallel report by the United Nations World Travel Organization dubbed ‘UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2017’ notes that despite the above named challenges, Africa made a strong rebound in 2016, with an estimated increase of 8% in tourist numbers after a much weaker performance in the preceding two years.
It found that Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) observed a 10% increase in international arrivals, leading in the overall recovery. Kenya took up the lead position at with an increase of 17%, while Tanzania saw a jump of 16%, rebounding from weaker figures in 2015. South Africa, seen as the region’s lead destination, enjoyed 13% growth in international arrivals.
Jumia Travel notes that a closer look at Kenya hospitality industry reveals a growing interest by international hotel chains such as Accor Hotels, Hilton brand, Carlson Rezidor, Acacia Premier among others. According to a new report by W-Hospitality Group, Kenya presently counts 19 upcoming hotels, with a total of 3,453 new rooms in the pipeline.