- Chidozie Uzoezie
West Africa Hotel Expansion: Nigeria Maintains Top Spot
Nigeria holds its pole position for hotel development in West Africa despite a slight reduction on last year, according to a regional focus by the annual hotel pipeline survey from Lagos-based W Hospitality Group. Details of the survey, which covers the whole of Africa, will be one of the key discussions at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which the Kenyan government has announced will return to Nairobi, in October this year. Nigeria, the giant of Africa, has the largest pipeline in West Africa (and the 2nd largest on the continent), with the concentration being in Lagos and Abuja, the commercial and political capitals, respectively.
There is, however, an increasing number of deals being signed in other cities, such as Enugu, Port Harcourt, Onitsha and Benin City. The pace of deal making in Nigeria has noticeably slowed down, with only 6 deals signed in 2017 compared to 10 in both 2015 and 2016, a reflection of the economic situation in the country.
Hotel pipeline development in terms of total planned rooms for Nigeria is down 5.1% on last year, but it still has 4,146 rooms actually under construction, out of a total of 9,603 in 57 hotels. Impressive strides have been made by Cote d’Ivoire, moving into the top five West African countries with 10 new hotels in the pipeline, a 205.7% increase on last year – 549 of the total 1,830 rooms are on site.
All the planned hotels are in Abidjan, driven by multiple deals signed by AccorHotels and by Marriott. This reflects the confidence in the country as the return to democracy, after several years of civil war, have brought economic and political stability, with the IMF forecasting GDP growth of 7.4% this year, one of the highest on the continent. Cape Verde is sustaining growth with 2,710 rooms now on site, up 15.3% on last year. Sao Vincente accounts for 28% of the country’s pipeline. Other developments are in Boa Vista, Mindelo, Praia, Sal and Santiago. Senegal, with 17 hotels in the pipeline is another strong performer, up 16.2% per cent on last year in terms of rooms – 80% are in Dakar. The remainder are in Cap Skirring and Mbour.