Hilton eyes Africa


The President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide; Chris Nasseta says that his company’s management team is very excited about Africa.
“We are very positive about the growth opportunity of Africa,” said the president and CEO of one of the leading global hotel chains in his first visit to Ethiopia intended to become familiar with Ethiopian officials last Thursday.

“My visit is intended to introduce myself to the government as the hotel is partly owned by the government. We have spoken with the Acting Prime Minister of Ethiopia about the existing hotel and other business opportunities in the country as the Ethiopian economy continues to grow in a rapid phase. We had a lively visit,” said Nasseta.
“We have talked about travel and tourism. We are working on expansion projects that include broader distribution networks. Our primary focus is this property [Hilton Addis Ababa] and the Hilton community here. It is a very strategic asset for us. It provides quite a nice foundation for this part of the world in general and Ethiopians in particular. That would be a platform for further growth. One of the reasons I am here is to talk with our team and government representative about further growth opportunities,” he added.
Nasseta takes a stopover in Addis Ababa on his way from Dubai to South Africa. He is on a weeklong visit through the continent, the first since he took office in 2007.
“The Hotel market is very competitive. We compete against Sheraton and Radisson Blu. They are our primary competitors. It is really an individual by individual market completion. Broadly, we really see our competition from the very large global hospitality companies. The best examples of such companies are Starwood, Marriot, Intercontinental, and some others,” he said while speaking about the competition in hotel business both nationally and globally. 
Hilton owns more than one thousand hotels carrying 10 brand names worldwide with 33 in Africa.  It has opened its door in Malabo while looking for opportunities in Kinshasa and Angola. It also has projects in Sierra Leone and Chad.  
Hilton Worldwide has more than 161 thousand rooms in the pipeline. This makes it the fastest growing hotel company in the world by expanding the company’s investment portfolio by 29 percent since June 2007. This enabled it to surpass all competitors in total rate of room growth. The Addis Ababa Hilton was established almost five decades ago during the reign of Haile Selassie I.