Hyatt plans to double its Africa offering with six new hotels by 2020

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts today announced that it plans to double the number of Hyatt properties in Africa, with six new hotels expected to open by 2020. The developments are expected to see the Hyatt brand enter four new countries on the African continent and are expected to create approximately 2,100 new jobs once open.

East Africa is one of Hyatt’s primary focus areas in the near term, with the region benefiting from continued government investment in infrastructure, an expanding middle class and a growing international recognition of the region’s stability, all contributing to an 11% growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year alone.

According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the first half of 2017 saw a 14% increase in international arrivals in East Africa over the same period in 2016, with intra-Africa travel up nearly 13% for the same period.

CHART – International air capacity in East Africa has been following a growth trend since 2014Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG

“The development opportunities for Hyatt in Africa are significant, and we see enormous potential in the region. This expansion reinforces our commitment to developing our pipeline in Africa,” says Peter Penev, vice president acquisitions and development for Hyatt.

With the introduction of a Pan-African, visa-free passport next year alongside the continued improvement in the connectivity and growth of the region’s airlines, tourist and business travel to and within Africa will only continue to increase.

Latest statistics from global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights experts STR reveal that the return of some form of political stability across parts of Northern Africa is helping the region to lead the way in terms of hotel occupancy growth, delivering the highest rates of occupancy as well as average daily room rates (ADR) and revenue per available revenue per room (RevPAR), but yields remain the weakest among all global regions (see ‘Northern African hotels deliver highest increase in global occupancy rates in 2017’).

In its round-up of Aug-2017 performance, STR says across Africa as a whole growth is being seen across all three of the key performance indicators with occupancy up+2.9% to 61.2%; ADR up +11.7% to US$99.78 and RevPAR up +15.0% to US$61.09 for the month, in comparison with August 2016.

Of Hyatt’s expected six new hotels, four are market entries: Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, Algeria (late 2018); Hyatt Regency Douala, Cameroon (late 2020); Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (summer 2018) and Hyatt Centric Dakar, Senegal (summer 2018). In its established markets, Hyatt is expanding its footprint with Park Hyatt Marrakech, Morocco (early 2019) and Hyatt Regency Arusha, Tanzania (early 2019), each becoming the third Hyatt-branded hotel in each country, respectively.

CHART – The potential for additional respected hotel properties across Eastern Africa is clear when you see that the region has a greater share of international Business Class seats on offer than the world average, based on data for the week commencing 02-Oct-2017Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG 

This will be only the start of an effort to grow the Hyatt brand across the Continent as part of a long-term plan to expand in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company says it will continue to look for further opportunities across Africa, namely in countries like Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Hyatt already has six properties in Africa, Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, South Africa; Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, The Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Hyatt Regency Casablanca, Morocco; Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort, Egypt; Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania; and the Hyatt Place Taghazout Bay, Morocco.

Looking in more detail at each of the proposed new properties:

  • Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, Algeria will be part of a wider airport expansion in one of North Africa’s largest cities. The 326-room hotel will be situated directly opposite the airport’s new terminal and will be the only terminal-linked hotel.
  • Hyatt Regency Douala, Cameroon will be a 200-room hotel with 1,200 m2 of event facilities. Located on two acres of land in the heart of Bonanjo district of Douala, it will be an ideal destination for business travellers. Bonanjo is the financial hub of the city and in proximity of the headquarters of many major banking and insurance companies and the port; it’s also within a 2km radius to Akwa, the traditional central business district as well as the upscale residential district Bonapriso.
  • Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will feature 180 rooms and will be situated ideally for business travellers in the central Kirkos district, within the heart of Africa’s fourth largest city. This location will offer excellent access to some of Addis Ababa’s most significant destinations, including Meksel Square, the National Palace, the UNECA Conference Centre and the African Union headquarters, with the airport just a short 5.5 km trip away.
  • Hyatt Regency Arusha, Tanzania will be the third Hyatt hotel in Tanzania. The 144-room hotel will occupy a 29 acre site in central Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania and home to the East African Community headquarters, an intergovernmental organisation. Located in the heart of Arusha, the hotel will be in close proximity to some of Africa’s most famous natural landscapes and national parks, including Tarangire National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Hyatt Centric Kermel Dakar, Senegal will be the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Senegal and the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Africa. Hyatt Centric hotels are located in the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities, putting their guests in the middle of the action allowing them to easily explore the heart of the destination. Hyatt Centric Kermel Dakar will offer 140 guestrooms, two restaurants, a guest lounge and bar within walking distance of major international organisations in the city, such as UNICEF and UNESCO.
  • Park Hyatt Marrakech will bring a personalised, luxury experience to the impressive Al Maaden residential and leisure development and will be the third Hyatt hotel in Morocco. The 120-room hotel will be set against the spectacular backdrop of the Atlas Mountains and will feature a resort complex and Moroccan garden-inspired 18-hole golf course.

A new report to be released at next week’s Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali, Rwanda will reveal that 50% of all African countries saw hotel value rises at a greater rate than any other property investment class over the last two years. The latest edition of the biennial African Hotel Report publication from Hotel Partners Africa, a leading hospitality consultant for sub-Saharan Africa, highlights a country by country guide to the main hospitality trends and investment opportunities.

Key findings from the report show that 75% of all African countries have seen increases in the value of hotels over the last two years with average growth in hotel values over the last two years reaching 6.4% with ten countries seeing hotel values grow by 8% per annum or more over the last 8 years. It also highlights that Africa still has a shortage of branded bedrooms with only 134 bedrooms per million people, compared with 4,325 per million across the Americas or 2,533 across Europe.