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Uganda Trails In Hotel Expansion In East Africa

Uganda lags behind in hotel development in East Africa, with Ethiopia taking the lead. This is according to a regional focus from the influential annual hotel pipeline survey by Lagos-based W Hospitality Group.

Details of the survey, which covers the whole of the African continent, will be one of the key discussions at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which will return to Nairobi in October. The hotel development pipeline in Ethiopia is almost 50 per cent up on last year’s figures, with Addis Ababa accounting for 86 per cent of the total, almost 5,000 rooms in 25 hotels.

In addition to the upcoming branded supply in Addis, there is a large stock of unbranded rooms under construction – but many are stalled, looking for investors to help finish them.

Government incentives, alongside international conferences and global bases for NGOs, embassies and aid agencies have all fueled hotel growth in Addis. Accor is among the chains focusing heavily on East Africa, including Ethiopia, doubling the number of hotels in its development pipeline in in the region, and achieving a 66 per cent growth in the number of rooms signed. Hilton is deploying part of its US$50 million Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to help fund growth in the region, converting hotels to its Double Tree and other brands, and it has seen a 51 per cent growth in its pipeline.

Across the region, Kenya has 2,754 rooms under construction. Tanzania is the other significant regional player with 1,344, Rwanda 457 and Uganda at 447.

“Ethiopia’s hotel expansion is truly impressive. The activity there has been huge, and it is very pleasing to see that investors and operators are now looking to exploit the opportunities outside of Addis Ababa, in the secondary cities and tourism centres.” said W Hospitality Group’s Managing Director, Trevor Ward. AHIF, which is supported by the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, is attended by leading international hotel investors, business leaders and politicians.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director of Bench Events, AHIF’s organiser, said: the report and analyses from other expert advisers to the industry, will shed light on where the best investment opportunities are likely to be in the near future. “It is this kind of content that makes AHIF a must-attend event, alongside unrivaled networking opportunities,” he said.

-Additional reporting by The Standard

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