Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Tue October 04 2016

Hilton Eyes Aggressive Expansion in Africa Amid Enhanced Competition

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | October 04, 2016

Hilton Eyes Aggressive Expansion in Africa Amid Enhanced Competition

PHOTO: Nairobi, Kenya, where Hilton will open Africa's tallest hotel in 2020. (Photo via Flickr/Ninara) 

Hilton Worldwide is currently working toward doubling its footprint in Africa, the McLean, Virginia-based company announced at this year's African Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.

Hilton is in the process of developing three hotels in Africa but plans to expand to more than 80 properties on the continent within the next three-to-five years. Highlights of the planned expansion include Africa's first modular-build hotel in Ghana's capital city of Accra and the continent's tallest hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. 

A modular build involves constructing portions of the hotel including rooms and hallways elsewhere before transporting them to the final site.

"We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years," said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton's senior vice president development for Europe, the Middle East & Africa.

Africa's Tallest Hotel

Boasting one of Africa's fastest growing economies, Kenya has emerged as a popular destination for business and leisure travelers alike, making it the ideal location for one of Hilton's most exciting projects.

READ MORE: What Digital Features Will Hilton Roll Out Next?

The $110 million, 43-story Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill will be the continent's tallest development when it opens in 2020 and will feature an executive lounge, poolside bar, fitness and spa centers and a rooftop bar boasting views of the Nairobi skyline.

The hotel is Hilton's flagship brand's 50th property trading or under development in Africa.

Increased Competition

Hilton's announcement comes less than six months after Marriott International revealed its own ambitious expansion plans for the region at April's Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai.

By 2025, Marriott aims to enter as many as eight new countries across the Middle East and Africa, including Iraq, Gabon, Rwanda, Tunisia, Benin, Kenya, Libya and Mauritius, meaning Hilton is poised to face significant competition from what recently became the world's largest hotel company following last month's acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. 

What's more, Marriott — which will open 10 new hotels in Africa this year — announced plans to rebrand Africa's Protea Hotels in June in an effort to capitalize on increased travel to the region. 

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