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MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA REGIONS


Branching out: the hotel group is accelerating growth across Africa, both through new builds and by taking over existing hotels


Radisson accelerates its African plans R


THE HOSPITALITY GROUP PLANS TO INCREASE ITS PROPERTIES ACROSS AFRICA BY 50% BY 2025, WENDY ATKINS WRITES


adisson Hotel Group is adding to its portfolio in Africa, with a new prop- erty in each of Mali, Nigeria, Ghana


and Ethiopia, and two in South Africa. Ramsay Rankoussi, vice president, develop-


ment, Africa and Turkey, at Radisson Hotel Group, says Africa has always been at the cen- tre of the company’s growth strategy. “We’re now accelerating our presence across the con- tinent and across all our brands as the region evolves and diversifies.” South Africa is one of the company’s key


focus countries, he adds. “With over 15 hotels in our current portfolio across the country – either in operation or under development – we are seeking to double our presence here in the coming years. “Similarly, Nigeria represents another focus


market for us.We’re seeking to diversify our port- folio beyond Lagos to Abuja and other economi- cally important cities across the country.Most of those properties are driven by business demand, either from corporates or government.”


Scalingup Mr Rankoussi says Radisson has established a strategythataimsto create scale in fourlocations – Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa – as well as in neighbouring countries. The company aims to accelerate this growth boththroughnew builds and by taking over existing hotels. Radisson has has revisited its brand architec-


ture to enable existing hotels toquickly integrate intoits network. “This strategy will be reinforced as our brands continue to demonstrate a better value proposition to our owners. Following our revised strategy,webelievewearenowgearedup to providing solutions to the investment com- munity for every type of asset, every segment and at every stage – fromfunding, to construc- tion and repositioning.”


August/September 2020 www.fDiIntelligence.com


Radisson’s expansion announcement


comes as many companies are re-evaluating their property portfolios. “For us, the priority will now be on conver-


sion opportunities, especially as liquidity remains a critical challenge and the global economy recovers further strength due to the pandemic impact,” says Mr Rankoussi. “Many independent hotels that are currently self- managed will require access to a wider net- work and to the cost-savings benefits of a wider chain. “We have also taken a strategic decision,


against the trend, to reinforce our develop- ment team dedicated to Africa. For Africa, our goal is to reach 150 hotels within the next five years and it’s this objective that now drives our focus across the continent.”


Post-Covid recovery Mr Rankoussi says the company expects there to be a 24-month post-Covid recovery period before it can reach its 2019 performance levels again. “This will be determined by issues such as infrastructure and the ease of movement from airlines to othermeansof transportation.” He adds: “We will certainly continue to


develop new hotels in key markets, but these could be delayed until the market recovers its liquidity levels, and we certainly expect leisure and domestic demand to be the first element of recovery.” Mr Rankoussi is upbeat about prospects


for the region. “The objective we have set is to have more than 150 hotels in operation and under development within the next five years. Today we have almost reached our first mile- stone of 100 hotels, so we then need to add 10 additional hotels per year. This represents an adequate target, given the size of the region.” ■


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