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Latest African gold rush: Hotels

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May 10, 2013

Latest African gold rush: Hotels

(CNN)?– Major international hotel chains are increasingly rolling out thousands of new rooms in Africa’s business hotspots, keen to expand their footprint on the continent’s burgeoning economies.

From Lagos and Kigali to Nairobi and Johannesburg, the world’s best known hoteliers are targeting Africa’s growing urban centers to benefit from a rising number of business travelers and a huge undersupply in available rooms.

“There’s a growing demand in those capital cities because they are the centers of business, of government and of commerce — all of which have hospitality needs,” says Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president of development for Hilton Worldwide, Europe and Africa.

“We have a very bullish feel for these markets and we are very excited about the opportunity Africa presents,” he adds. “I think that for the next 20 years we are going to have our hands full with opportunity.”

‘World woken up to Africa’

Last month,?the International Monetary Fund said?that sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to expand by 5.6% in 2013 and 6.1% next year, outpacing the global average of 3.3% and 4% in accordance.

Andrew McLachlan, Carlson Rezidor Vice President for Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, says it is Africa’s potential to offset the sluggishness in more developed markets that’s appealing to global players.

“What has really happened is that post the economic crash in 2008/2009, the rest of the world has really woken up to Africa,” says McLachlan.

“There’s been such good news coming out of Africa from a GDP growth point of view; better telecommunications; improved security; political stability; and improved airlift,” he adds. “It’s really become a sort of new scramble back into Africa.”

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Source: Teo Kermeliotis (2013). Latest African gold rush: Hotels, CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/08/business/hotels-africa-expansion/index.html published May 08, 2013. Viewed May 10, 2013,

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