Hospitality leader Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has just announced aggressive expansion plans into Africa. Starwood made this announcement at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) being hosted in Addis Ababa from September 30th to October 1st.
Starwood currently has a strong footprint in the region, with 34 operating hotels and a pipeline of 20 hotels under development. With the expansion of the company’s luxury, upscale and mid-market brands in the region, Starwood will grow its portfolio by over 50% within the next five years. Starwood plans to operate over 50 hotels in the region, with nine out of its 10 lifestyle brands flying their flags across Africa.
“The momentum of growth we are seeing in Africa today is unprecedented. It is a reiteration of the trust our owners have in us, the power of our distinct lifestyle brands and the strength of our global distribution and award-winning loyalty program,” said Michael Wale, President of Starwood Europe, Africa and Middle East.
“Africa is a market with huge potential. With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and quality lodging will continue to grow and provide us with a significant opportunity to grow our brands and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent.”
Reaffirming its commitment to growth in the region, Starwood announced seven new deals including: W Sharm El Sheikh and The Residences at W Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt; Sheraton Bamako in Mali; The Westin Abuja and Residences, Four Points by Sheraton Abuja and Residences in Nigeria; Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport in Kenya; Aloft Dakar in Senegal; and Element Oyster Bay Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. With these new signings, Starwood will further build its position in Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, and enter new markets, which include Mali, Kenya and Tanzania.
Starwood will open 7 hotels within the next year, including:
• Four Points by Sheraton Oran, marking the entry of the brand into Algeria
• Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria
• The Westin Soma Bay Golf Resort & Spa, which marks the entry of the brand into Egypt
• A new Westin in Cairo, The Westin Katameya Dunes
• The St. Regis Cairo, which marks the debut of Starwood’s ultra-luxury brand St. Regis in Egypt
• Re-opening of the iconic Sheraton Cairo after extensive renovation
• Opening of Sheraton Conakry, marking the entry of the brand and Starwood’s first hotel in Guinea
“Our long legacy gives us a competitive edge and our lifestyle brands are resonating with the aspirational and fast growing middle class in the region. Our accelerated growth and strengthened footprint is driving market share and building loyalty beyond reason. New openings will bring new opportunities for employment for the young and aspiring talent,” said Hassan Ahdab, Vice President and Regional Director of Operations for Starwood in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Starwood currently operates nearly 9,500 rooms in 13 countries across Africa, including Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. The company is now set to debut in new countries like Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan and Tanzania. After Starwood’s current phase of expansion, the company will operate more than 13,000 rooms with presence in 21 countries in Africa generating thousands of employment opportunities across the continent.