Marriott leads Africa hotel chain development

Accor catching up fast as the market remains healthy

April 24, 2019

The big chains, Marriott and Accor, are leading the way in African hotel development which overall has more than 75,000 rooms in 401 hotels in the pipeline, according to the 11th annual survey by W Hospitality Group, acknowledged as the industry’s most authoritative source.

The figures represent a 1.5% decrease on the 2018 pipeline, but still more than 12% ahead of 2017. And data for deals which have been realised show almost 100 hotels opened in Africa in 2017/18 with a total of 16,000 rooms.

The annual African Hotel Chain Development Pipeline survey had a record 43 international and regional hotel contributors covering 54 countries in north and sub-Saharan Africa, and the Indian Ocean islands.

W Hospitality’s Managing Director, Trevor J Ward, said: “The growth of the chains’ presence in Africa is a positive story. This year’s slight decrease is largely due to them “cleaning” their pipeline, deleting deals that they believe are not going to happen.

“So while the 2019 total is slightly down, overall there has been growth of 51% in total pipeline rooms since 2015, and in that time, North Africa has grown by 58% and sub-Saharan Africa by 47%.”

Full details will be revealed and discussed at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Addis Ababa, September 23 – 25, organised by Bench Events. AHIF, the leading conference of its kind, connects business leaders, driving investment in tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across the continent.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, has the biggest pipeline in Africa, 42% more hotels and 25% more rooms than second-placed Accor. But in absolute terms, Accor beat the pack in 2018, with a net increase of 3,400 rooms in 15 hotels. Hilton and Marriott signed around 2,000 and 3,600 rooms respectively, but saw a net reduction in their pipelines, due to openings and “cleaning”.

Table 6: Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa 2019

Top 10 Chains by Number of Planned Rooms

Rank by Rooms
  HotelsRoomsChange on 2018Average Size
1Marriott International 8116,905-4.5%209
4Radisson Hotel Group478,97414.1%191
5Meliá Hotels & Resorts82,31719.7%290
6Rotana Hotels92,05859.8%229
7InterContinental Hotels Group101,9040.7%190
8Mangalis Hotel Group151,7812.0%119
9Best Western Hotels & Resorts181,613-4.9%90
10Hyatt International81,507-14.8%188

Just over half of the rooms in the African pipeline are currently onsite and under construction, making them much more likely to open than those still “on paper”. Ranking the companies on this basis, Accor heads the list, followed by Radisson, then Hilton and, in 4th place, Marriott.

Table 13: Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa 2019

Top 10 Chains by Pipeline Status

RankCompanyHotelsTotalOnsite Construction
2Radisson Hotel Group478,9745,94366%
4Marriott International 8116,9055,64533%
5Meliá Hotels & Resorts82,3172,317100%
6Best Western Hotels & Resorts181,6131,46891%
7Hyatt International81,5071,09773%
8Onomo Hotels81,1031,01492%
9Wyndham Hotels and Resorts81,32491469%
10Mangalis Hotel Group151,78189750%

Trevor Ward said: “There are almost 200 hotels due to open this year and next. We estimate, conservatively, that they will create around 30,000 direct jobs when they open, with some commentators estimating that each wage earner supports five other family members. And indirect and induced employment could total another 150,000 people.”

Chairman of Bench Events, Jonathan Worsley said of the 2019 survey: “It’s only through such knowledge and transparency that participants in the industry can execute its strategic plans for growth. With the huge growth in the number of deals signed by the chains, Africa is today on the agenda of virtually every major hotel company.”


About W Hospitality Group

The W Hospitality Group, a member of Hotel Partners Africa, specialises in the provision of advisory services to the hotel, tourism and leisure industries, providing a full range of services to clients who have investments in the sector, or who are looking to enter them through development, acquisition or other means. In sub-Saharan Africa the W Hospitality Group is regarded as the market leader due to the market and financial expertise of its staff, its worldwide knowledge, and its commitment to its clients.  In Africa, W Hospitality Group has to date worked in 39 countries on the continent, from its Lagos and Addis Ababa offices.


About the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF)

AHIF is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. It is organised by Bench Events (, who has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Bench Events’ mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide.


Sponsors of AHIF are: Platinum Sponsors: Accor, Hilton, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group; Gold Sponsors: Aleph Hospitality, Cabo International Partners, Citymax Hotels, Drawlink; Drees & Sommer, Grant Thornton, Hotel Partners Africa, Insignia, IHG, JLL, Munich RE, PrideInn, STR, Stuart and Partners and TIME Hotels.