In the lead up to Africa’s premier Francophone hotel investment conference, CITHA, the three partners, Radisson Hotel Group; Horwath HTL and Proparco, delve into the hotel industry potential in the Francophone hub and the conference’s host country, Ivory Coast. The country’s economic capital, Abidjan, shows potential of adding 1600 rooms to its current hotel supply, as the countries development continues to peak.
Radisson Hotel Group has identified Ivory Coast as a key market in its African development strategy and plans to double its hotel portfolio in Ivory Coast by 2022. The group currently has three hotels in operation and under development in the country and a total of 99 hotels in operation and under development across 32 African markets.
Erwan Garnier, Director, Development, French & Portuguese Speaking Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, said, “As part of our aggressive five-year development plan, we aim to add a further 50 hotels to sub-Saharan Africa, of which 65% of our future hotel supply will come from our newer brands, specifically Radisson, which is positioned in the full-service upscale segment, perfectly positioned between Radisson Blu in the upper upscale and Park Inn by Radisson in the upper midscale segments. In addition, we will selectively add a number of key Radisson Collection hotels in the affordable luxury segment and grow on the successful opening of RED Radisson in Cape Town in the lifestyle upscale segment of the market with the next Radisson RED hotel scheduled to open in 2021 in Abidjan.”
“Our development strategy focuses on the business segment for hotels, resorts, serviced apartments and mixed-use developments. In Abidjan, we aim to have each of our five brands present by the end of 2022,” said Garnier. “We currently have in operation, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abidjan Airport and two hotels under development which includes the second Radisson RED hotel in Africa and Radisson Hotel & Apartments, Abidjan Plateau which will offer the largest conference center in the city center, stylish accommodation and the city’s first roof top bar and restaurant. We plan to enter the international luxury market with our affordable luxury brand, Radisson Collection, expand our growing Radisson Blu portfolio and the upscale segment with our Radisson brand in Plateau and Cocody. In terms of the international midscale segment, we aim to develop in Plateau, Cocody, Marcory and Treichville. Other cities we’re looking at expanding in are, San Pedro and the capital city of Yamoussoukro with our international upscale and midscale hotels. In Grand Bassam and Assinie we’re looking to introduce our upscale and upper upscale segments to this leisure market.”
Clémence Derycke, Manager, West & Central Africa, Horwath HTL, the world’s largest and most experienced hospitality consulting brand, said, “The opportunities for hotel development in Ivory Coast has been at its strongest for a while and Abidjan still has a strong potential for international upscale hotels and mid-market hotels in Plateau and Cocody, economy and midscale hotels in Marcory and Treichville, and along the major road axis in Cocody/Bingerville. The development of economy hotels also seems to fit with provincial cities like San Pedro, Bouake, Korhogo or Yamoussoukro. There are also significant opportunities for mixed-use projects and serviced apartments in Abidjan and the provincial markets. Finally, on the leisure tourism market, there is significant potential for the development of upper midscale resorts in beach destinations located near Abidjan, such as Grand-Bassam, Assinie or Jacqueville, and Grand-Bereby. There is also an emerging opportunity for ecolodges within natural parks and plantation estates.”
“Even though there is no formal classification system in Côte d’Ivoire, based on our research, we estimate the hotel supply of economy to upscale segments in Abidjan is approximately 3 500 rooms (more than 30 hotels). However, a wide range of the available hotel supply does not match with the international standard of quality. Meaning refurbishments for these hotels are essential. Among this supply, 2 600 rooms distinguish themselves from the rest since they meet the requirement of international standards. The potential additional supply in Abidjan should reach more than 1 600 rooms.”
Claire Fillatre, Investment Officer in charge of Hospitality Projects, Proparco, said, “The strong hotel supply potential is particularly encouraging for the country. Hotel projects have a ripple effect on other business segments and virtuous impacts in terms of job creations and professional training. This is why Proparco, as a development financing institution, has a role to play to help such hotel opportunities turning into concrete sustainable projects.
In Ivory Coast, and in francophone Africa more generally, we position as a long-term partner to sponsors. We specifically support the realization of their business hotel projects, in city areas. In those markets, the emergence of a quality and diverse room offer is key, not only to meet local demand, but also to strengthen the attractiveness of business environment for international investors.”
At Proparco, we have the capacity to grant long term loans with grace periods, as a complement to local banks financings. By doing so, our support is tailored to fit the characteristics and specificities of such hospitality projects and of the Ivoirian and regional market. Proparco also assists sponsors in the structuring of their projects, knowledge of environmental and social standards, and offer support on specific topics thanks to technical assistance funds. Such topics can be related to environmental certification, HR capacity building, integration of international norms and standards in building conception, etc. We have for instance worked with regional players such as Teylium in Niger and Guinea, or Azalai in Mali and Senegal. The involvement of development financings institutions such as Proparco is key to foster the hotel development pipeline in Ivory Coast and in the whole francophone Africa.”
Based on the success of the inaugural CITHA event last year, Radisson Hotel Group in partnership with Horwath HTL and Proparco will be co-hosting the second event in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on 19 June 2019. The conference hosted at Radisson Blu Hotel, Abidjan Airport is dedicated to francophone hotel investment in sub Saharan Africa. Under the patronage of the Minister of Tourism of Côte d’Ivoire, this event brings together hotel groups, donors, institutions, banks and investment funds, engineering firms, real estate developers, development companies, law firms and public finance consultants, for in-depth discussions with industry leaders on various pertinent topics related to hotel investment in the Francophone market.