NAIROBI May 23 Sweden's Rezidor Group AB
plans to increase by 60 percent the number of hotels
it operates in sub-Saharan Africa to 120 in the next four years
to take advantage of growing business travel, its regional head
said on Tuesday.
The company has been focusing on Africa due to growing
demand for well-known accommodation brands, such as its Radisson
Blu hotels. Such brands are estimated at about a third of the
available room capacity in the region. The rest are
Other global chains that have opened branches in markets
such as Kenya in recent years include Marriott and
Rezidor's regional support office in South Africa employs
dozens of staff, up from just three employees a decade ago.
"For the last two years, every 60 days we have opened a new
hotel in Africa," Andrew McLachlan, the group's senior vice
president for Africa, told Reuters during the opening of its
second hotel in the Kenyan capital.
"We really felt that there was an imbalance between supply
and demand in a lot of African countries and a lot of African
cities," he said.
The group opened a five-star hotel under its Radisson Blu
brand in Nairobi last year, to cater for wealthy clients. The
second hotel, a Park Inn Radisson, offers 140 rooms to mid-scale
consumers in a smart suburb of the city.
A third hotel is under construction in Kenya and will open
next year, McLachlan said, adding they also wanted to have five
hotels in both Tanzania and Ethiopia in the expansion phase.
"We have 16,500 rooms in Africa today. By the end of 2020 we
would like to get to 23,000 rooms in Africa," said McLachlan.
McLachlan said Rezidor's strategy on the continent was about
80 percent focused on business travel to help ride out the
occasional dampener on the leisure market, including the
outbreak of diseases such as Ebola or militant attacks.
(Editing by Katharine Houreld and Susan Thomas)