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Top 10 African countries by the number of hotel rooms  

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Last year, 2023 marked a positive trajectory for the African hospitality sector, evident from the distribution of hotel rooms across countries.

The African hotel chain development pipeline has surged to encompass 524 hotels with 92,193 rooms, representing a notable 9.1 percent increase from the previous year.  

Analyzed by W Hospitality Group in its 2024 report, this total is divided into two main regions: North Africa, comprising Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, and sub-Saharan Africa, encompassing 49 countries, including the Indian Ocean islands. Both regions witnessed similar growth rates in 2024 compared to 2023, with a 9% increase in sub-Saharan Africa’s pipeline and a 9.4% increase in North Africa. 

In contrast, other African regions encountered distinct challenges in 2023. West Africa grappled with heightened volatility, while Southern Africa faced hurdles like increased construction costs and limited access to capital, resulting in fewer new hotel developments. Despite these challenges, Nigeria emerged as a focal point for hotel development activities during the year.  

Without delay, let’s examine the top 10 countries by the number of rooms in the pipeline. Together, they constitute a significant portion, representing 69% of the total hotels surveyed and accounting for 74% of the rooms.  

10. Ghana

 Ghana has 19 hotels with a total of 2,568 rooms. On average, each room in these hotels is about 135 square feet in size.

9. Algeria

Algeria has 13 hotels with a total of 2,603 rooms. The average size of a room in these hotels is approximately 200 square feet. 

South Africa is home to 22 hotels, offering a collective room count of 3,427. On average, each room in these hotels’ spans around 156 square feet. Craig Seaman, CEO of Index Hotel, noted the challenges in signing new management agreements in 2023.  

Despite the resurgence in international travel following the pandemic and most African countries surpassing their 2019 arrival figures, the pace of development has slowed.

This slowdown can be attributed partly to the increased construction costs and a more cautious investment climate prevailing in the industry.

Seaman also pointed out that the economic climate for 2024 is expected to remain relatively conservative, primarily due to upcoming elections in Ghana, South Africa, and the USA. However, there is a more optimistic outlook for the future, particularly from 2025 onwards. 

Kenya has 31 hotels with a total of 4,268 rooms. The average room size in these hotels is approximately 138 square feet.

6. Tunisia

 Tunisia features 18 hotels with 4,121 rooms in total. The average room size in these hotels is roughly 229 square feet.

Cape Verde boasts 16 hotels, providing a total of 5,056 rooms. Notably, hotels in Cape Verde are generally larger, with an average size of approximately 316 square feet. The majority of these hotels are expansive beach resorts, primarily catering to the European market.  

Among the pipeline hotels in Cape Verde, Meliá Hotels International’s White Sands resort stands out as the largest, offering 800 rooms and suites. However, even this sizable establishment pales in comparison to the largest hotel in the pipeline, which is a Rixos resort planned for Sharm El Sheikh, boasting over 1,800 rooms. 

Ethiopia has 31 hotels and 5,128 rooms in total. The average room size in these hotels is approximately 165 square feet. Economic challenges and internal conflicts in Ethiopia have posed obstacles, yet the momentum in hotel development persists, showcasing the resilience of the industry. 

Morocco houses to 52 hotels, offering a total of 7,169 rooms. On average, each room in these hotels measures approximately 138 square feet. Last year, Morocco saw the signing of ten deals, with prominent players like Hilton, Marriott International, The Ascott, and TUI Hotels & Resorts securing agreements. The majority of these deals were concentrated in three cities: Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech. 

Nigeria moves into second place this year, with nine new deals signed there in 2023, by Hilton and Radisson (3 each), Marriott International (2) and Leva Hotels (1). Lagos remains the focus of deal-signing, with five of the new deals located there. 

Nigeria has 50 hotels and a total of 7,622 rooms. The average size of a room in these hotels is approximately 152 square feet.

 Egypt leads the pack with 109 hotels and a whopping 26,241 rooms. Each room in these Egyptian hotels, on average, measures around 241 square feet.

Egypt’s commanding presence in the hospitality sector can be attributed to various factors, including its expansive geography, diverse cities, and renowned resorts such as New Cairo.

Additionally, Egypt benefits from a robust economy and a well-established tourism industry, drawing visitors from Europe and the Middle East due to its strategic location and accessibility.  

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