Hotel development activity in Africa is still rising in the face of the continent’s economic problems, showing a 13% increase in 2017, according to the annual survey by W Hospitality Group.

The ninth edition of its Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa has 36 international and regional contributors reporting almost 73 000 rooms in 417 hotels. The figures have grown each year, more than doubling since 2009.

This year Marriott International, boosted by its merger with Starwood, comes top of the table in terms of number of rooms planned. But AccorHotels continues to lead – just – by the number of hotels in its pipeline.

By country, Egypt is in first place with the highest number of hotel rooms in the on-site construction phase.

The report, along with all the challenges of developing new hotels in Africa will be discussed by industry leaders and government officials at the seventh Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Kigali, in October.

The 7th AHIF will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from October 10 to 12 and, running alongside AviaDev – an airline route development conference – will bring together some of the leading executives from the world of aviation and hotels as well as top government officials and politicians, according to Jonathan Worsley, chair of Bench Events, the conference organiser.


There is a speaker line-up of over 70 senior industry professionals from leading hotel chains, consultancies, designers, local owners.

“Our line-up this year is comprehensive and exciting – everything from sustainable development and hard economics, to first-hand practical advice from leaders in their field, plus unique networking opportunities,” said Worsley.

“With AviaDev, an airline route development conference, taking place simultaneously in the same venue, it’s a joint forum that provides a valuable opportunity to look at the expansion of travel across the continent from a strategic perspective.”

AHIF attracts more than 500 high-calibre executives from 45 countries and has already seen many new deals made. The opening day sees the impact of global economic trends on Africa high on the agenda. How to meet the current challenges within the sector will be discussed by leading figures including Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa of Marriott International, and political analyst Daniel Silke.

Investment, connectivity, and security will also be explored and further highlights include detailed analyses of hotel revenue performance. In addition, there will be an African market focus – region by region.

The last day kicks off with innovations and trends in hospitality – from international to local; mainstream to boutique. There’ll be a stakeholders’ roundtable plus a closing session on finance.