30 September 2018

East Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia Whet the Appetite of Hyatt Hotels for East Africa

Chicago headquartered Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that three of its new Hyatt-branded hotels expected to open in Africa by the end of 2020 will be based in East Africa.

The Hotel chain will open two outlets in Nairobi and an extra one hotel in Addis Ababa while still opening Hyatt brand to Cairo, new Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in Morocco, and Hyatt hotels in Algeria and Senegal.

UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2018 Edition,

Last year, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts today announced that Hyatt expects to double the number of Hyatt hotels in Africa. East Africa is one of Hyatt's primary focus areas in the near term, with the region benefiting from continued government investment in infrastructure, an expanding middle class and a growing international recognition of the region's stability, all contributing to an 11% growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year alone.

During that year, Hyatt was particularly bullish about the East African market. "The development opportunities for Hyatt in Africa are significant, and we see enormous potential in the region. This expansion reinforces our commitment to developing our pipeline in Africa," said Peter Penev, vice president acquisitions and development for Hyatt. "With the introduction of a Pan-African, visa-free passport next year alongside the continued improvement in the connectivity and growth of the region's airlines, we expect tourist and business travel will only continue to increase. We look forward to working with our local developers and partners to further deliver on our ambitious plan to help grow the hotel industry in East Africa."

Now the hotel has unveiled the three spot in Kenya and Ethiopia. Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018 while the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House both in Westlands area of Nairobi are expected to open in 2020.

Hyatt Place and Hyatt House will be comprised of 233 guestrooms total and are both expected to open in mid-2020. The project marks the introduction of Hyatt's select-service brands into Kenya with the first dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel on the continent. Located in one of the most prominent mixed-use developments in the Westlands, the two hotels will offer an array of shared services and amenities, including more than 7,500 square feet (700 square meters) of meeting space, a restaurant and bar, and a swimming pool.

Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will feature 180 guestrooms and will be situated in an ideal location for business travelers in Addis Ababa's central Kirkos district within the heart of Africa's fourth largest city. This location will offer excellent access to some of Addis Ababa's most significant destinations, including Meksel Square, the National Palace, the UNECA Conference Center, and the African Union headquarters. The lively Mercato district, Africa's largest open market and home to the largest mosque in Ethiopia, will be easily reached from the hotel, and the airport will be less than four miles (5.5 kilometers) away.

Africa, and particularly East Africa, remains a focus for Hyatt with an increasingly favorable business climate and heightened tourism spend, encouraged by relaxed visa rules, travel incentives, and a growing middle class. Together these factors are shaping demand for diversified accommodations, ranging from full-service luxury destinations and select-service hotels.

According to the UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2018 Edition, international tourist arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa have grown by 5.8 percent from 2005 to 2017, which is well above the global average of 4.2 percent. Furthermore, the continent saw a sustained growth of 8.6 percent in international tourist arrivals last year.

Domestic travel is expected to grow due to the Single African Air Travel Market (SAATM) initiative that launched earlier this year. While UNCTAD's Economic Development in Africa Report 2017 noted four out of 10 travelers in Africa originate from the region, this number is expected to grow with the SAATM initiative, therefore fueling demand for mid-market options in the continent's bustling centers and regional hubs such as Nairobi, Lagos, Addis Ababa, and Johannesburg.

Leveraging global flight reservation information, travel data company Forward Keys has stated long-haul international flights to Nairobi have grown by 8 percent as businesses take advantage of the recent multi-million dollar expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and newly announced routes from Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Accra.

"At last year's Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Hyatt set a goal to bring Hyatt-branded hotels to Kenya and we are delighted to announce plans to deliver on that just twelve months later with additional executed hotel developments across the continent," said Tejas Shah, Hyatt's regional vice president development for Africa. "There is huge potential for further growth in Africa, and our approach is to grow thoughtfully in markets where our guests are traveling."

"Strengthening our existing hotel presence in the capitals of East Africa has given Hyatt a strong foundation to continue growing our brand footprint in the rest of the continent," said Takuya Aoyama, Hyatt's vice president development for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. "We are privileged to have an expansive network of exceptional owners and developers who are essential to fostering our momentum and powering our growth across Africa."

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