Converting Opportunities
Business Traveller Africa|November 2017

Hilton are making a big statement in Africa, committing $50 million over the next five years towards the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative, in the form of around 100 hotel conversions. Hilton made the announcement at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali, Rwanda in October, where editor Dylan Rogers took the opportunity to sit down with Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice-President, Development: Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Dylan Rogers

A long with Marriott and Carlson Rezidor, Hilton are the international group with the most impressive African hotel development pipeline, and the group already operates 19 hotels in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, with a further 29 in its pipeline.

This latest announcement just reinforces the notion that Hilton is betting big on Africa.

Those proposed 100 hotel conversions will total roughly 20,000 rooms across the continent, with Hilton likely to focus on just a few of its brands, in terms of working with independent owners to convert their stand-alone, non-branded hotels into Hilton properties.

“DoubleTree by Hilton is a conversion brand and has been very successful in this space,” says Fitzgibbon. “There will be more opportunities for this brand, as well as Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Curio Collection by Hilton, which is a step up from DoubleTree, in terms of being an upper upscale conversion brand. But, we will look across all our brands, including Hilton Garden Inn and some of our luxury brands.”

So, how did this all come about, and why the need to make such an aggressive play in the African development space?

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