Hilton Worldwide Holdings has plans increase the number of its hotels in Africa to more than double the current number. It has implement this in the next five years by mainly striking deals with existing hotels for conversion into its brand, its chief executive said.
International chains, including Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels , have been increasing their investments in Africa, which has some of the world’s fastest growing economies and a rising middle class.
Hilton plans to introduce its Curio Collection, an upscale hotel brand, on the continent, starting with a hotel at Lagos airport in Nigeria, Chris Nassetta, the company’s president and CEO, said.
“This hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region,” he said in a statement issued on the sidelines of a hotel industry meeting in the Kenyan capital.
The continent continues to undergo rapid urbanization, with the United Nations forecasting that the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035, he said.
“Hilton is seeing strong demand for its brands across the continent and expects to open eight hotels in total across Africa this year,” the company said.
The Mclean firm, Virginia based has operated in Africa, where it currently has 41 open hotels and 53 in development, since 1959.
Part of Africa’s growth initiative for new facilities is in the pipeline. It was launched last year and involves the investment of $50 million over five years. This investment will mean Hilton will start operating in countries where it does not have a presence such as Botswana and Rwanda.
Other big international hotel group such as Radisson and Kempinski are estimated to have about a third of the available room capacity on the continent. Whereas the rest are independently-run hotels.