Africa’s hospitality sector: primed for expansion and open for business | The Planner

Amid a rapidly growing travel and tourism sector in Africa, marked by an expanding middle class and a significant forecasted growth in the “bleisure” market, there is a burgeoning need for fresh and innovative hospitality solutions. A study from Africa Outlook suggests that by 2024, Africa will rank as the second-fastest-growing tourism region globally, buoyed by revitalised travel interest and investment flows. This growth necessitates a platform for the hospitality industry to forge meaningful connections with global suppliers and brands, a need the 7th edition of the Hotel & Hospitality Expo Africa is poised to fulfill.

Margaret Peters, the Event Manager for Food & Hospitality at dmg events, remarks on the evolution of the Hotel & Hospitality Expo Africa into a pivotal event for the continent’s hotel and hospitality sectors. The 2024 edition aims to broaden its impact with the introduction of an interiors and fit-out sector. This addition promises to bring architects, interior designers, and hospitality buyers into contact with an extensive array of suppliers and brands, facilitating the discovery of global products and encouraging engagement with industry thought leaders. The interiors and fit-out segment will spotlight specific niches within the interiors domain, including lighting, furniture, textiles, office equipment, and more. This focus is designed to spark new business connections and serve as a source of inspiration. According to Peters, the anticipation surrounding the event mirrors the vibrant and dynamic spirit of the African continent.

African Hotel & Hospitality Confidence Index

The positive trajectory of Africa’s hospitality sector is reinforced by the African Hotel & Hospitality Confidence Index, which reveals a notable optimism among operators and suppliers, with 80% expressing confidence in the sector’s future. Emerging trends, such as the integration of artificial intelligence in operations, highlight the industry’s readiness to embrace technological advancements to meet the needs of Africa’s growing population and emerging middle class.

Peters underscores the role of the Expo in unveiling the latest trends, services, and products that will shape Africa’s hospitality industry, positioning it as an attractive destination on the international stage. The event will showcase a wide range of categories, from kitchens and bathrooms to lighting, furniture, and textiles, drawing exhibitors from around the globe. With nearly 3 000 trade visitors expected and over 100 exhibitors participating, the Expo stands as an invaluable platform for raising brand awareness and generating new sales leads.

A highlight of this year’s event is the Southern African Housekeepers League of Champions, which will showcase the skills and talents of competing teams in a live format. Additionally, the Expo’s co-location with Africa’s Big 7 and SAITEX offers unparalleled networking opportunities, facilitating cross-continental business relationships and trade partnerships within the food, beverage, and broader trade sectors. Peters emphasises the comprehensive nature of the event, offering attendees a wealth of suppliers and new opportunities to thrive within Africa’s flourishing hospitality sector.