TUI accelerates Africa expansion

German tour group TUI is expanding its portfolio of directly managed hotels and resorts across Africa, in order to meet a growing demand for medium haul leisure destinations.

International tour group TUI is expanding its hotel presence across Africa. An existing portfolio of 76 hotels in North Africa is to be complemented by eight new properties across Sub-Saharan Africa, as TUI looks to meet the needs of many different holidaymakers, in all segments of the market.

The current pipeline includes upcoming hotels opening in Cape Verde, The Gambia, Senegal, Tanzania and Kenya, across three brands: TUI Suneo, TUI Blue and TUI Magic Life. And the group will shortly launch the first of a new luxury brand, The Mora, which will open in Zanzibar in summer 2024.

Meeting a variety of needs

“With our variety of hotel brands, we will create new hotel experiences in Africa for different target groups – from price-conscious holidays in a TUI Suneo hotel via our global brand TUI Blue to a new luxury experience with The Mora,” said Artur Gerber, managing director TUI Blue. “We are looking forward to contributing to the development of the African hospitality industry and working together with local communities.”

Also in the development pipeline is a new TUI Blue hotel in Kenya. Development partner Sands of Darakasi Resorts Limited will build the 117 room TUI Blue Watamu hotel in Kilifi County, overlooking the Indian Ocean.

TUI is also looking for further routes to growth, via franchise opportunities. It has teamed up with international third party hotel operator Valor Hospitality Partners, and is opening up discussions with resort and hotel owners. “In collaboration with Valor, we are currently looking for further franchise opportunities who want to become part of our growth strategy,” said Wesam Okasha, head of TUI Blue’s global development. The pair are particularly keen to add further sites in East Africa in countries including Mauritius, Tanzania and Kenya.

Building momentum

The tour group’s progression in Africa was noted in early 2024 in the annual Africa hotel chain report, published by W Hospitality. The report noted that TUI Blue had risen to eighth place in its ranking of hotel brands, by number of planned rooms, with 2,048 signed.

In 2023, TUI signed eight new properties in countries including Tunisia, The Gambia, Nigeria and Tunisia, And through 2024 and 2025, it already has at least seven resort openings planned out of a total declared pipeline of 12 hotels.