Starwood in aggressive expansion into Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – STARWOOD Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, the American hotel and leisure company, has announced plans to expand to the continent with the opening of some 20 hotels.
The facilities will be opened at such countries as Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan and Tanzania.
With the expansion of its luxury, upper upscale and mid-market brands, Starwood will grow its portfolio by over 50 percent in the next five years, with more than 50 hotels operating and nine out of its ten compelling lifestyle brands flying their flag in the region.
Michael Wale, President for Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said the momentum of growth they were seeing in Africa today was unprecedented.
“It is a reiteration of the trust our owners have in us, the power of our distinct lifestyle brands and the strength of our global distribution and award-winning loyalty programme,” he said.
Wale said Africa was a market with huge potential.
“With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and quality lodging will continue to grow and provide us with a significant opportunity to grow our brands and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent.”
Neil George, Senior Vice President Acquisition and Development, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Africa and Middle East, said the company was excited with the success it was seeing in the continent. Franchising, he said, opened up new opportunities for us and is a strategy that is helping drive growth of our mid-market brands.
“We are also beginning to see more and more opportunities for conversion and are pursuing them actively. We are confident that this will give further impetus to our growth trajectory. We remain focused on choosing the right partner, and the right brand in established, emerging as well as unexplored but interesting destinations,” said George.
Starwood currently operates nearly 9 500 rooms in a number of countries including Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.
– CAJ News
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