By Jimoh Babatunde
Starwood Hotels and resorts, owners of Sheraton hotels worldwide plan growing its portfolio by over 50% in the next five years in Africa with introduction of seven new brands.
Announcing seven new deals in the continent with two planned for opening in Nigeria next year, Michael Wale, President for Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said the momentum of growth we are seeing in Africa today is 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 program,” he said .
Michael Wale added, “Africa is 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.”
So, reaffirming its commitment to growth in the region, the company announced seven new deals including W Sharm El Sheikh and The Residences at W Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), Sheraton Bamako (Mali), The Westin Abuja and Residences (Nigeria), Four Points by Sheraton Abuja and Residences (Nigeria), Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport (Kenya), Aloft Dakar (Senegal), and Element Oyster Bay Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
With the new signings Starwood will further build its position in Nigeria and Egypt, increase its presence in Senegal and enter new markets, which include Mali, Kenya and Tanzania.
Neil George, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa & Middle East, said.
Neil George said they are excited with the success they are seeing in the continent. “Franchising has 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.
He added “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.”
Hassan Ahdab, Vice President, Regional Director Operations for Starwood in Africa and Indian Ocean added “Our long legacy gives us a competitive edge and our lifestyle brands are resonating with the aspirational and fast growing middle class in the region. Our accelerated growth and strengthened footprint is driving market share and building loyalty beyond reason. New openings will bring new opportunities for employment for the young and aspiring talent.”