LAGOS, Nigeria—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that it will increase its African portfolio by nearly 30 percent with 10 new hotels set to open over the next three years, adding more than 4,200 guestrooms to the continent and creating thousands of local employment opportunities. Emphasizing the importance of the region as one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, CEO Frits van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s senior executive team are visiting Africa this week, travelling to key growth markets including Nigeria, Angola and Gabon.
“Home to seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies, there could not be a better time to expand our footprint in Africa,” said van Paasschen, in an announcement. “From a vastly improving infrastructure, major investments from China, rapid economic growth, rising personal incomes and a growing middle class – we are seeing exciting changes that are driving the African future and we intend to be a part of it.”
At a press conference in Lagos, van Paasschen shared Starwood’s plans to further expand its portfolio in Nigeria, the company’s largest growth market on the African continent. Starwood presently operates five hotels in Nigeria, in Abuja, Ibom, Port Harcourt and two hotels in Lagos, under its Sheraton, Le Méridien and Four Points by Sheraton brands. By 2015, Starwood will open three additional hotels in Nigeria, one property in Benin City and two in Lagos.
With more than 70% of the world’s economic growth coming from fast-growing markets over the next few years, Starwood is focused on expansion in developing and established African countries such as Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt and South Africa. The company is also looking to enter key emerging countries including Angola, the Ivory Coast and Ghana.
As part of this strategy, Starwood is investing in development, sales and the expansion of its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program in Africa. By the end of this year, Starwood will double its dedicated development team focused on growth in Africa, underscoring the company’s commitment to continued growth in the region.
By 2015, Starwood plans to have nearly 50 hotels in Africa with new hotels confirmed to open in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Senegal and Mauritius. Key highlights include:
The debut of Starwood’s ultra-luxury St. Regis Hotels & Resorts brand in the Africa/Indian Ocean region with the opening of The St. Regis Mauritius Resort & Spa, which opened earlier this month. This will be followed by the debut of the St. Regis brand in Egypt with The St. Regis Cairo, scheduled to open in 2014.
Further expansion of the company’s well-established Sheraton portfolio in Africa with the opening of three new Sheraton hotels in Dakar (Senegal), Annaba (Algeria) and Tripoli (Libya).
In addition to the new hotels in the pipeline, Starwood will re-open three of its African hotels in the next 12 months: The Grand Mauritian, which will re-open next year after a major renovation; the Sheraton Cairo following a major renovation as part of Sheraton’s global brand enhancement strategy; and the Four Points by Sheraton Tripoli, which closed last year due to political conflict in Libya.
Starwood currently operates 38 hotels in 15 African countries, including: Algeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.