Kenya set for 25 new hotels this year


Artistic impression of Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton. PHOTO | POOL

Investors are building 25 new hotels in Kenya this year, seeking to tap into the recovery of domestic and international travel.

This will mark an increase from 24 new units that were established in 2022, according to The Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Africa report from the W Hospitality Group.

The ongoing and planned construction will bring an additional 3,729 rooms, adding to the 3,155 units recorded last year.

Read: Hilton opens new luxury Nairobi hotel after CBD exit

The increased investment in the hospitality sector comes as the industry continues to recover from the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic that was reported in the country in early 2020.

International visitors travelling to Kenya for business, leisure and other businesses collapsed to 579,600 in 2020 before growing to 871,300 in 2021 and 1.54 million last year.

Most of them visited the country for holiday at 36.3 percent. Business travellers accounted for 27.3 percent of the visitors, according to the 2023 Economic Survey.

International brands including Best Western Hotels & Resorts Group (BWH Group) are among the entities that are keen to grow their presence in Kenya.

BWH brands include Best Western Plus Meridian Hotel, Best Western Premier, BW Signature Collection and BW Premier Collection.

“BWH Hotel Group is excited about future development possibilities in African markets, fueled by strong interest in our brands in markets like Kenya and Ethiopia which seems to be moving in the right direction again,” Neville Graham, the managing director of International Member Services at BWH Hotel Group is quoted in the hotel development report.

This year will also see the launch of the hotel dubbed Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton located off Nairobi’s Peponi Road on November 30.

The hotelier was set to open the property in February but the company website is not taking reservations and has set the new date to November 30 based on information obtained from their website.

“We will debut Waldorf Astoria in Seychelles with the opening of Waldorf Astoria Platte Island, return to Tunisia with the opening of Hilton Skanes Monastir Beach Resort and bolster our presence in the Kenyan hospitality market with the opening of Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton,” said Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, Development, Middle East & Africa at Hilton.

Read: Hemingways takes over luxury boutique hotel Eden Nairobi

Haitham Mattar, the MD of IHG India, Middle East and Africa said the hospitality chain has initiated plans to open three hotels in Kenya and Tanzania in the next three years.

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