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Radisson Hotel Group cements its leading position in Africa

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By African Business and Sophie Dillon. Published on May 25, 2021

Radisson Hotel Group has a strong year ahead, with expansion in key African markets and reinforcement of its presence in North Africa. Vice President, Development, Africa & Turkey, Ramsay Rankoussi, tells us about the group’s plans.

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Radisson Hotel Group
The Radisson Blu Resort, Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone, Zambia.

What has the first half of 2021 been like for the group?
Building on the success of 2020 with nine African hotel signings and placing us firmly on track to reach over 150 hotels across the continent by 2025, this year we have already announced two key signings with a strong list to follow in our key markets. The first signing, Earl Heights Suite Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, introduced our new Radisson Individuals brand to the African market. Radisson Individuals is a conversion brand that offers independent hotels and local, regional chains the opportunity to be part of the global Radisson Hotel Group platform, benefit from the Group’s international awareness and experience, with the freedom to maintain their own uniqueness and identity.

We have also announced the signing of the Radisson Blu Resort, Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone, our first resort and third hotel in Zambia. Located just 4km north west of the Victoria Falls, the hotel will be constructed and operated in respect of its close proximity to the natural wonders.

We have continued to focus on the execution of our development strategy with a priority on key markets and are proud to soon announce the reinforcement of our presence in North Africa, further balancing our portfolio across Sub-Sahara and North Africa.

What are the group’s development plans and focus markets for the rest of 2021?
Looking ahead, 2021 represents a year of continued acceleration, with a focus on our identified key markets, specifically Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa. This year, we expect in excess of a dozen new African hotel signings and around 2,000 rooms, 50% of which will be in these core focus countries with the remainder reinforcing our presence in cluster markets or entering into new territories, further cementing Radisson Hotel Group’s leading position as the hotel company with the largest active presence in the most countries across Africa.

We aim to further accelerate our presence across the continent through both new build and conversions. Africa is mainly led by business hotels, but now we will further expand on leisure offerings and serviced apartments which has proven resilient during COVID-19. Our ambitions are driven not only by creating critical mass in each of our identified focus markets but also ensuring market proximity. These regions are sub-divided based on priorities, focus and potential scale.

Radisson has now become our fastest growing brand, as it represents the ideal model for Africa, leveraging our core name “Radisson” along with an efficient and cost effective brand which is well positioned for every African city. We will, however, continue to reinforce Radisson Blu as one of the leading hotel brands, building on its success across the continent. With the recent introduction of Radisson Collection to Africa with the hotel opening in Bamako, we see the potential to accelerate the development of the brand in relevant key capital cities and form a collection of iconic hotels.

Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Development, Africa & Turkey, Radisson Hotel Group

What African hotel openings can we look forward to this year?
Despite the current situation, we have a strong year ahead of us. Supporting the robust expansion strategy, our teams are working tirelessly to realise the pipeline, with six hotel openings in Africa lined up before year-end. These hotel openings signify our debut into various markets, from a portfolio of three hotels in Madagascar, to Juba in South Sudan and St. Denis in Reunion Island. Building on the continued success of the Radisson RED brand in Cape Town, we will also be debuting this unique brand in Johannesburg with the opening of Africa’s second Radisson RED hotel in Rosebank.