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A recent study conducted by Lagos-based consultancy W Hospitality Group has revealed that hotel development in Sub-Saharan Africa by international hoteliers has leapt forward, with a 42% increase in pipeline rooms.

The company estimates that the hotel chains polled in its recent survey currently have almost 99,000 rooms operating in Africa, with around 44,300 in North Africa and 54,600 in sub-Saharan Africa. However, when taking into consideration that there are five countries in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt), with an average of 8,900 rooms per country, the opportunity is significant.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest country by population, (and tipped to overtake South Africa this decade as the largest economy on the continent) has almost 7,000 rooms under contract, up 2,000 on last year’s figure, with thousands more in the “nearly” category.

New openings have recently included Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy in Lagos, and many groups have hotels under construction, including Accor, Hilton, IHG and Protea, with the last named increasing its presence in the country from ten hotels to 16 in the next three years.

Other groups hoping to enter the Nigerian market for the first time, and who have signed deals, include Kempinski, Mantis, Marriott and Wyndham.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events, a company that organises international hotel investment conferences, said: “A raft of economic studies show economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa to be very impressive, averaging around 6%, which is twice the global average. I expect we will see the level of interest in Africa from the international hotel investment community continuing to increase.”

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