Sept 25, 2019

The Novotel brand is set to make its debut in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following a three-property deal signing at the recently concluded Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) by world leading hospitality group, Accor.

Partnering with Compagnie Hôtelière et Immobilière du Congo (CHIC), owned by leading DRC conglomerates, the group will open mid-scale Novotel properties in the capital, Kinshasa, and its two major mining centres in the south, Lubumbashi and Kolwezi, thereby introducing a total of 337 keys to Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country.

The agreement introduces Novotel’s signature relaxed and lively hospitality concept to Africa’s fourth-most populous nation and its most populous Francophone country, capitalising on a surging demand for modern world-class hospitality concepts that meet the needs of its local communities and business travellers.

“With Africa tipped as the next global market and DRC one of the continent’s fastest-expanding economies with an affluent middle class, the time is right to introduce our flagship midscale lifestyle brand in three major growth markets,” said Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East & Africa.

“We are delighted to partner with local expert CHIC to develop Novotel’s presence in this global mining powerhouse, building on the success of the brand in other African destinations and bolstering our accelerated development strategy on the continent.”

DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt ore, a major producer of copper and diamonds, and has an estimated US$24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits.

Mr Farhan Charaniya, Head of Development for CHIC mentioned “CHIC, a company dedicated to the hospitality industry, is committed to making a contribution to the socio-economic development of the DRC, a country with an abundance of natural resources and human capital which is going to realise a considerable increase in business tourism. Chic is focused on developing quality hotels across the country in support of DRC’s growth potential and we are delighted to be partnering with Accor in achieving this objective.”

The capital, Kinshasa, is a centre for international corporations, institutions, government offices, embassies and NGO headquarters, and the 115-key Novotel Kinshasa, due for completion in December 2020, will be strategically located close to all of them, with a prime address on Avenue Bandundu in the city centre.

In Lubumbashi, DRC’s second largest city and its mining capital, the 120-key Novotel Lubumbashi, which has a planned opening date of December 2021, is under construction on the city’s main road by the lake, close to the ‘La Plage’ family leisure, fitness and entertainment development.

Also in the south of DRC and the capital of Lualaba Province, Kolwezi is a major mining centre for copper and cobalt. The 102-key Novotel Kolwezi, due for completion in December 2022, will be located on the main road, close to the multitude of international mining companies with headquarters in the city.

With a casual yet dynamic atmosphere, flexible venues and public spaces and modern amenities, the trio of hotels are anticipated to quickly make their mark as hubs for business, leisure, meetings and socialising in their respective cities, popular with corporate travellers and local companies and residents alike.

Accor already operates two properties under the upscale Pullman brand in DRC – the Pullman Kinshasa Grand Hotel and the Pullman Grand Karavia in Lubumbashi.

The triple Novotel signing builds on the momentum of the brand in other areas of Sub-Saharan Africa – a focal point of Accor’s development strategy – with the Group recently signing a deal to manage the 160-key Novotel Victoria Island Lagos in Nigeria.

More than 3,942 keys are pipelined for this region across countries including Nigeria, Niger, Ivory Coast, Senegal, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia.

Accor currently operates a total of 25,826 rooms in 164 hotels across 22 countries in Africa and has 13,642 more keys across 61 properties signed or under development.

Niyi David
Author

‘Niyi David is a travel writer/photographer and Editor-in-Chief at More Cream Than Coffee. Previously, he worked at Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd as a travel writer, and was Head of Media and C.O.O. before leaving in May 2018. Prior to that he had worked as scriptwriter on some major media projects in Nigeria, such as 'Peak Talent Show' and the Ford Foundation sponsored 'Stop Impunity in Nigeria' campaign.