The new 330m-high Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is an indication that prospects are on the rise for Africa’s tourism marketers
While many South African marketers battle to attract customers in a difficult economic environment, those in the tourism sector are enjoying good times and looking forward to a lucrative Festive Season.
International visitor arrivals to the country rose by around 24% in the first eight months of the year. The overall figure, including visitors from the rest of Africa, rose about 14%, ‘Business Day’ newspaper reports.
Britain, Germany and US remain the three biggest foreign markets for South Africa, although there is also strong growth from China, India and Saudi Arabia. The latter is showing particularly steep increases in visitor numbers.
Within the tourism sector, hotel chains are being notable active, not just in South Africa but elsewhere on the continent as well.
Marriot is developing new properties in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. These are the forerunners of a long-term African expansion strategy which the global chain says will result in a presence in 27 countries.
“Africa is particularly important to Marriott International’s expansion strategy because of the continent’s rapid economic growth, expanding middle class and youth population, as well as the increase of international flights into the continent,” notes Chief Executive Arne Sorenson. “With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are enormous opportunities.”
Similarly, Hilton Worldwide has announced new developments centred on three African countries as it works to double its footprint on the continent within the next five years. It will go from 39 current hotels to more than 80 properties during that timeframe.
Among the new projects is the 280-room Hilton Garden Inn in Accra, Ghana and the Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill property (pictured) in Kenya, which will be 330m high and the tallest hotel on the continent.