Radisson Hospitality AB, part of Radisson Hotel Group, signed 16 new hotel deals across Africa during the last 12 months, doubling the company’s original 2018 target set for the first year of Destination 2022, the company’s five-year strategy.
The company has 96 hotels and 20,000 rooms open and under development across 31 countries in Africa and is on track to reach 130 hotels and more than 23,000 rooms by 2022.
To support and drive the rapid growth of its Africa portfolio, Radisson Hotel Group has added Ramsay Rankoussi as VP of development, Middle East, Turkey and French-speaking Africa. Rankoussi has been with Radisson Hotel Group for more than five years, initially overseeing the growth of the company in the Middle East and Turkey and now leads the development activities across French-speaking Africa. He is supported by Erwan Garnier, director, development French- and Portuguese-speaking Africa. Together, they will take steps to accelerate the introduction of all Radisson brands in the region with a focus on key capital and economic cities.
Also joining the group’s African development team is Caryn Venter, coordinator, development, sub-Sahara Africa. The new organizational structure follows the recent appointment of Frederic Feijs, who leads operations as regional director Africa-French-speaking countries for Radisson Hotel Group, and William McIntyre, the group’s regional director, Africa, overseeing the remaining Anglophone markets in sub-Sahara Africa.
“We have ambitious plans for this important market and it is imperative that we have the right resources in place to support our growth,” said Rankoussi. “This means communicating effectively with owners and investors, as well as providing first-class levels of expertise, as we establish long-term relationships with our business partners in this market.”
“We will continue to execute our five-year strategy with our expanded team, creating scaled hotel growth in key cities and resort locations across Africa during 2019,” said Andrew Mclachlan, SVP, development, sub-Saharan Africa, Radisson Hotel Group.
“Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos are our three gateway cities in sub-Saharan Africa where we aim to have scaled growth and an ambition of up to 10 hotels within the same city,” Mclachlan continued. “Dakar, [Senegal]; Abidjan, [Côte d’Ivoire]; Douala, [Cameroon]; Luanda, [Angola]; Nairobi, [Kenya]; Dar es Salaam, [Tanzania]; and Addis Ababa, [Ethiopia] are proactive cities where we aim to have between three and five hotels…We expect our future growth to arise from existing hotel take-overs and new-build hotels,
“With economic headwinds in some African markets, we have identified opportunities to exploit our vast knowledge and experience in converting unbranded, underperforming hotels or underperforming office or apartment buildings and reposition them to the right brand and market segment within the Radisson Hotel Group brand portfolio. In addition, we are not ignoring the smaller cities and larger towns across Africa where we’ve identified potential to penetrate the market with either our midscale Park Inn by Radisson brand or upscale Radisson,” said Mclachlan.
Radisson Hotel Group plans to open a further five hotels across Africa in 2019, pushing the African portfolio to more than 50 hotels in operation before the end of the year. These openings include the first Radisson Blu hotel in Casablanca (also the group’s second hotel in Morocco), scheduled to open within the next six months, as well as the Radisson Blu Hotel Niamey, the first internationally branded hotel in Niger. That property is slated to open in second quarter.
“Our strategy will most certainly reinforce our presence in key markets across Africa as we continue to focus on delivering on our expanding pipeline,” said Mclachlan.