Accor has revealed plans to open 60 new hotels spread across 14 African countries.
The company’s CEO, Mark Willis, recently shared the plans with Bloomberg, noting that the company will open more than half of those new properties in Egypt.
The openings will take place over the next four years, Willis said, with many of the Egyptian properties coming online even sooner, within the next two years.
Willis told Bloomberg that Egypt is rebounding, confirming what has been widely reported over the past several months and year about the country’s recovering tourism industry.
Visitor numbers began declining dramatically years ago amid such incidents as a revolution, several airline disasters including the ISIL bombing of a Russian Metrojet flight over the Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people and deadly bombings at Coptic churches.
However, data released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in March showed that last year, Egypt’s travel and tourism sector became the fastest growing in North Africa, increasing by 16.5 percent. That figure also puts the country well above the global growth average for 2018 of 3.9 percent.
The country’s tourism industry growth is now second only to Ethiopia when factoring in data for the entire African continent.
Egypt’s steady rebound over the past few years has been linked to the improved security infrastructure, which has helped to attract international visitors back to the country’s shores, and has allowed major travel companies to restart operations in popular destinations such as Sharm el Sheik, said the WTTC in a statement.
“Egypt is resurrecting after 10 years of a tough situation,” Willis told Bloomberg.
Egypt has overtaken Kenya’s coastal region as the preferred destination for European tourists and investors, Willis said, and revenue per available Accor room there has risen 20 percent year-on-year.
Willis told Bloomberg that Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa “is not at the forefront of people’s minds today.” Only one of Accor’s upcoming hotels will be in the East African nation famous safaris and beach tourism.
Among the key markets in Accor’s just announced growth plan are Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa.
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