• Rezidor puts Africa on emerging market map

Emerging markets have been the great hope of this recession and while some have disappointed – notably Russia and Dubai – most others have outperformed the developed world.

This week Rezidor has announced that it is extending and broadening its partnership in South Africa, a move that follows the establishment of a new regional office for the company in Cape Town.

Rezidor currently has 28 hotels with more than 5,800 rooms in the continent of Africa. And it reckons there is "a huge potential for further projects".

The South African partnership is with Mvelaphanda Holdings, a black empowerment company, and covers seven properties to date and all future Rezidor hotels in teh country.

The relationship started nine years ago and has been taken forward by Maarten Van Den Nieuwenhuijsen, Rezidor's regional director Southern Africa. Mark Willcox, CEO of Mvelaphanda, said his company's focus would be to assist Rezidor in the identification, development and management of hotel properties.

Since 2005, Rezidor has been working with Nordic government funds to extend its presence in Africa via a fund called AfriNord. Among the 10 projects the fund intends to back are a Nairobi Radisson scheduled to open in 2012 and a Radisson in Lagos due to open later this year.

Rezidor also worked with three of the four government funds behind AfriNord in a joint venture in Russia.

The current strength of the sub-Saharan region was shown in the fourth quarter trading update from Kingdom Hotel Investments issued in January. KHI said revpar was 15% ahead. Across its system, which is mostly in emerging markets, revpar was up 3%.

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