Carlson Rezidor: Aggressive growth in Africa

Venture with Nordic development agencies, AfriNord, goes well
Focusing on growth on the African continent, Carlson Rezidor says it is on track to reach its target of more than 23,000 hotel rooms open or under development in Africa by the close of 2020.
“Africa has always been close to our hearts,” says Wolfgang Neumann, Rezidor’s president and chief executive. “We were the early movers on the continent in 2000 when we established our dedicated business development base in Cape Town.”
He added: “Today, Africa is our biggest growth market with a fully functional Area Support Office in Cape Town from 2016. We also converted our joint venture company with the four Nordic government development agencies, AfriNord, from a mezzanine debt funding facility to a minority equity investment vehicle to support our strategy and owners.”
The hotel company entered the African market in 2000 with a Radisson Blu-branded property in Cape Town. Its portfolio in Africa has grown to 69 hotels that are open and many under development, incorporating more than 15,000 rooms.
“Of course, we are aware that it is not just about signing. It’s really about delivering the pipeline,” Neumann said.
“We have opened a new hotel in Africa every 60 days over the past two years. This year, we have already opened six Radisson Blu hotels and expect to open a Park Inn by Radisson in South Africa in the next six months. We intend to keep up this momentum of signings followed by successful openings.”
The six Radisson Blu openings in 2016 are in Kigali, Nairobi, Marrakech, Maputo, Abidjan and Lomé.
Meanwhile, Africa’s first Radisson Red opens in Cape Town in 2017, and then there is the inaugural Quorvus Collection to be built in Lagos, slated for 2019.
The company aims to open 15 or more hotels in South Africa and Nigeria alone by the end of 2020, incorporating its full brand portfolio.