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    Morocco’s Hotel Capacity Among Fastest-Growing in Africa

    Hotel chains in Africa continue to invest in the continent despite the lingering economic impact of COVID-19.

    06 Jun 2022

    Rabat - Morocco comes second in Africa in hotel development with the largest planned hotel rooms, 7,209 rooms within 50 hospitality establishments.

    The latest African Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey, “the industry’s most authoritative source,” has documented that 5,577 hotel rooms are under construction in Morocco, representing 77.4% of the total planned rooms.

    The survey, issued by W Hospitality Group and Africa Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF), found that Egypt in the first quarter of 2022 had the most rooms under construction, exceeding 6,000 units and belonging to a total of 85 hotel chains.

    However, most room units in Egypt remain in the planning phase, with the AHIF’s survey noting that only 28.9% of the set rooms are under construction. This reflects Egypt’s “relatively ‘young’ pipeline (a lot signed in the last 3 years),” according to the survey.

    While the report studied the hospitality sector in 42 out of 54 African countries, North African countries dominated the top 10 rankings. Egypt has 21,281 new rooms ahead of Algeria, which was placed 7th with 3,202 rooms. Following is Tunisia in the 8th position, with 2,918 rooms and the highest regional onsite construction rate of 78.1%.

    Nigeria, the highest ranked country outside of North Africa, featured in the third position with 33 new hotels and 5,619 rooms followed. Following are Ethiopia with 29 hotels, Cape Verde with 17 hotels, and Kenya with 24 hotels.

    South Africa ranked 9th with 21 hotels, while Senegal was in 10th position with 13 hotels.
    The top 10 African countries featured in the list are home to 67% of Africa’s hotels and 74% of rooms.

    The study further reported on the activity of hotel chains with Accor and Marriott dominating the African hospitality sectors with 107 and 103 properties each. Hilton comes third with 55 hotels and half rooms, adding up to 10,505. Radisson Hotel Group recorded a -3.3% change compared to 2020 as it has committed to 35 new hotels with 6,248 rooms.

    Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the African and global hospitality sector, hotel chains are expected to open “200 new hotels…this year and next, although their expectations can sometimes be over-optimistic!” said Trevor Ward, Managing Director at W Hospitality Group.

    As the activities of hotel chains gradually recover in Africa, Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of The Bench argued that “the pandemic has done nothing to dent long-term investor confidence in hospitality.”

    Investors “have been encouraged by enlightened governments, such as Morocco’s, which heve spent $ billions on new infrastructure to incentivize investment in tourism,” Weihs added.

    These incentives have helped revive the tourism and hospitality sectors across the continent, yet not all hotels - even top ones in Africa - did not fully recover from the hit. Hyatt hotels & resorts, Melia hotels & resorts, and Louvre hotels group have for instance recorded respectively -9.4%, -10.8%, and -4.2% change in room growth compared to 2020.

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