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Africa’s Hotel Industry to Suffer a Slowdown of As Much As 40% due to Pandemic

A new survey by the W Hospitality Group reveals a complete change compared with the rosy picture the sector had painted in earlier forecasts for this year. At the start of this year, accommodation groups planned to build 408 hotels in Africa, with about 78,000 rooms. However, that expansion has been scaled back, with just 90 new hotels now planned. The report says business has been affected by lockdowns, closed borders, and airline shutdowns, which deterred tourists and therefore discouraged investment in new projects. According to the report, the Accor hotel chain performed particularly well; it opened 18 hotels in 2019 with almost 3,500 rooms in its various brands, ranging from Ibis to Fairmont. Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, has the largest pipeline in Africa, 22 percent more hotels and 6 percent more rooms than second-placed Accor, but Accor has been catching up fast, signing 25 new deals last year, compared to Marriott’s 17 new projects.