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Ghanaian capital of Accra set to attract international hotel investors, says HVS market analysis study

Accra, the capital of Ghana, has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa and the subject of considerable interest from the hotel investment market, with many of the large global brands vying to open properties there in forthcoming years.
Investors are attracted to the city because of its growing economy, political stability and conducive investment climate, according to a new report from HVS London, released ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2013, taking place 23-25 September in Nairobi.

The city’s Kotoka International Airport has experienced a compound annual growth rate of over 9.5% from 2002 to 2012, with the majority of visitors being business customers.

“Over the past several years, the airport has been successful in increasing flight frequencies to the Middle East, Europe and North America. There is also a US$200 million airport expansion project underway, which forms part of a master plan to meet the projected growth in arrivals over the next 10 years,” says report co-author Veronica Waldthausen, associate with HVS London.

“Mirroring the trend in airport arrivals, visitation to Ghana has also experienced strong annual growth of 8.6% from 2001 to 2011, with 2012 levels expected to be higher.”

Hotel supply in Ghana grew by an average of 8% from 1998 to 2011 having suffered for many years from a lack of adequate hotel accommodation. While the market is still characterised by local African brands such as African Regent Hotel, Fiesta Royal and Labadi Beach Resort, it is now becoming a development hot spot for large international chains looking to expand in Africa. International brands currently operating in the market include Mövenpick, Holiday Inn, Novotel and Best Western.

Co-author Sophie Perret, director with HVS London, notes eight new hotel developments currently underway, from luxury brands such as Kempinski and Shangri-La to mid-market and economy hotels such as Express by Holiday Inn and ibis.

Hotel market dynamics in Accra have mirrored that of the city’s economic growth as illustrated by HVS’ performance data. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) for a sample of upscale hotels in Accra recorded continuous growth from 2009 to 2012 and showed little impact from the global economic recession. The rise in RevPAR is attributable mainly to hoteliers pushing rate ahead of occupancy as demand in the market remained high.

“We consider Accra to be an important emerging market within Africa, with much potential. The country is set to become one of the leading tourist markets on the continent, given its strategic geographical location, political stability, expanding economy, growing infrastructure and diverse tourist attractions,” concluded Waldthausen.

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