Advisory Board For The African Hotel Investment Forum

The advisory board for the African Hotel Investment Conference (AHIF) was held on March 3 in Berlin and bought together the key industry minds for Africa and also included Ministerial participation from the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism from Tanzania, Hon Ex Lazaro Nyalandu and the Dep Minister of Tourism and Arts from Zambia, Hon Ex Lawrence Evans and Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa. 
The purpose of the Advisory Board is to help us develop topical and stimulating event agendas for the industry.  In such a fast moving market, like Africa, it is key that we address the topics that are at the forefront of investor’s minds.  To do this we asked our stakeholders to help construct their dream ideal event agendas. 
To kick off the proceedings we first asked members to share with the group their “Top Tips” for investing in Africa. Answers varied from investing heavily in strong local partners, localizing individual outlets, and acknowledging the challenges locals face within the region; to not viewing the entire continent as one ‘block’, but instead approaching it as individual regions.  Andrew Mclachlan from Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group also recommended that you always travel with hand luggage – which, while slightly outside of the box, is a top tip for Africa.
After a quick review of outcomes from AHIF 2013 we were given a market update by Thomas Emanuel of STR Global.  This brief session underlined how quickly Africa is moving with demand dropping in the North and growing in the sub-saharan countries:

  - Tale of two sub continents, 2013 saw Northern Africa demand fall 9.8%, where Southern African demand was up 3.7%
  - Still very static new supply, +0.9% in 2013
  - Lagos highest ADR of key cities – USD 275 (2013)
  - Dar es Salaam highest occupancy of key cities – 70.4% (2013)
  - Still 13 countries in Africa with no branded supply at all, and a further six with only African brands present
  - Currently 37,207 rooms in the active pipeline
  - Despite political upheaval, Egypt has the largest pipeline on the continent, albeit fairly static, with 6,321 rooms
To access Thomas’s slides please click here.

After which we were provided with current insights into the Pipeline from Trevor Ward of W Hospitality. You will see from his presentation that there are still 16 countries in Africa without any branded pipeline, and based on a year on year comparison there is an 8.9% drop in pipeline in North Africa, however a 28% increase in Sub-saharan countries.

  - In 2013 it was the first time that the number of rooms in the sub- Saharan pipeline met North African – it is now almost 6,000 higher.
  - The North and the West of Africa continues to dominate the number of room developments (with almost 75% of all rooms). 
  - Three significant African groups included within the development chain this year are Azalaï, Mangalis and Onomo.
  - Egypt still has the largest pipeline; one reason is that the hotels in the pipeline are quite large.

Following these presentations the group then brainstormed ideas for agenda topics that could be further developed for the conference programme. In 2014 expect to see AHIF tackle topics such as Finding Local Partners, Targeting Inter-Regional Travel, Unity Between African and International Products, Sustainable Tourism in Africa, and Striking a Fair Deal When Securing Finance. 

The event programme will be released shortly, and we hope to see you all in Nairobi.
A big thanks to all our Advisory Board Members.


By: Ocean Belcher - Programming Assistant.