During the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, held in Nairobi, Accor will reaffirm its ambitious expansion plan in Africa, with nearly 5,000 new rooms/ 30 hotels to be opened by 2016.
Since the opening of its first hotel in Congo in 1975, Accor has strongly developed its network in Africa to become market leader with 114 hotels – over 17,000 rooms – in 18 countries. The Group is present on all segments, from luxury to budget, with its Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis budget and Formula 1 brands.In the first semester of 2012 alone, Accor opened more than 1,000 rooms – 9 hotels – on the continent. Openings included an ibis in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, and 2 hotels, ibis and Novotel, in Constantine in Algeria, a market where the Accor network is experiencing a quick growth. Accor reentered in Tunisia with the opening of an ibis and a Novotel in Tunis. The Group also consolidated its market leadership in Morocco with the opening of Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa and Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche as well as the launch of its ibis budget brand.
In addition, an ibis has just opened in Dakar and a second one will soon open in Lagos, Nigeria. The Group has recently signed a management contract to take over under the Sofitel flag, the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. All together, almost 2,000 rooms will have opened through the year.
With its dynamic expansion plan, the Group will reach a network of more than 22,000 rooms by 2016. Key markets for the Group expansion include Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Angola, and Kenya.
“Our network in Africa is facing a dynamic expansion, with 5,000 rooms to open in the next few years”, declares Jean-Jacques Dessors, Chief Operating Officer Africa & Middle East. “Indeed, our strong historic presence along with the economic growth experienced on the continent, offers many opportunities of expansion for all our brands with a special emphasis on ibis to meet growing domestic and regional demand”.
On a social standpoint, the Group is reinforcing local recruitment and in-house training process. Accor Africa has 12,000 employees, with less than 2% of expats. With the Group expansion, Accor will create over 3,000 jobs by 2016, 99% of which will be local contracts.
Accor hotels in Africa have been committed to promote social and environmental responsibility for many years. Hotels are for instance working with local suppliers for construction and refurbishment, using low-consumption light bulbs and water-flow regulators, and promoting fair trade. Since 2003, Accor Africa has been engaged in combating HIV/AIDS through programs to train employees, raise awareness among guests and actively involve the tourist industry.
At a global level, Accor has recently launched a new ambitious sustainable development program that involves customers, partners and employees in order to improve Accor’s sustainability performance. With PLANET 21, the Group is making 21 commitments and the same number of quantified goals for the year 2015. Today the Group is rolling-out this program worldwide and countries in Africa are currently defining their local objectives and action plans for each year until 2015.