MORE ROOMS PLEASE
Africa is in the middle of a hotel building boom that still won’t be enough for all its tourists
Despite faltering economic growth with the crash in commodity prices, the prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa’s hotel industry remain positive, with a demand growth rate of 3% to 5% in the next three years, a new report says.
The ongoing spike in demand is due to the progression in tourism trends, demographic growth, besides a low supply in room provisions across the continent. Some $1.7 billion will be invested in hotels in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017 and a further $1.9 billion in 2018, forecasts Jones Lang LaSalle.
As the sector matures, the number of rooms available will also grow. An additional 7,000 rooms are set to be created in 2016 alone, raising the 2015 hotel room provision to 257,000. This is, however, a meager number given the 36 million tourists who visited the region in 2014. Besides, given that most of the hotels are either in the luxury or upper scale level, operators are looking to invest in midscale hotels to attract the burgeoning domestic tourism boosted by a growing middle class. The hotel industry’s bête noire, Airbnb has already targeted the continent and was seeing fast growth in listings in nearly 20 countries last year.
Growing the travel industry in Africa is about connecting people – and unleashing potential
BY TOM KLEIN ON 6 OCT 2016