September 22, 2014
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - International hotel developers are planning nearly 40,000 new rooms across Africa in the coming years.
The continent's business travel is increasing and Africa's middle class will soon begin leisure travel en masse, and an international forum held in Nairobi last week was packed with hotel executives because of this fact alone: Africa's middle class today numbers 300 million people but by 2050 will number 1 billion.
But hotel owners beware: The continent still provides a maze of challenges. Slow land acquisition. Slow government approval. Slow construction.
Nick van Marken, an analyst with Deloitte, said the economic numbers in Africa all point in the right direction but that a lack of transparency and corruption hurt progress. Still, he said, the mood among hotel executives is optimistic.
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