African Hotels See Dizzy Growth, But Zimbabwe-Listed Group Is Laying Off Workers

Nigeria and Angola, the two African countries hit hardest by falling oil prices, have the highest number of hotels in the development pipeline this year, BusinessDayLive reported.

Global and domestic hotel chains are investing more than ever in Africa, but Zimbabwe-listed hospitality group, African Sun, has laid off nearly 250 employees citing dwindling tourist numbers, lower room rates and the country’s deteriorating economic environment.

African Sun transitioned it business model from a hotel operating company to a hotel investment management company in October, according to Daily News. The average daily room rate fell 5 percent from $98 in 2015 to $93, said African Sun managing director, Edwin Shangwa.

There are 64,000 African hotel rooms in the development pipeline this year, according to an industry survey compiled by the Lagos-based W Hospitality Group, BusinessDayLive reported.

That’s 30 percent more development activity than 2015 and more than twice the development pipeline in 2009. However more than 30 percent of the hotel deals signed between 2009 and 2013 have still not been opened, mainly due to the lack of finance, said Trevor Ward, W Hospitality Group’s managing director.

Carlson Rezidor, one of the world’s largest hotel groups with headquarters in Minneapolis and Belgium, is delivering.