PrideInn Group has officially opened a Sh3.1 billion hotel and convention centre in Shanzu, boosting conference tourism in Mombasa.
Group managing director Hasnain Noorani said the new hotel and convention centre has 300 rooms with 600 bed capacity. The resort has conference rooms with a sitting capacity of 2,500 people, making it one of the largest convention facilities at the Coast.
He said the investment had created 400 jobs and market for manufactured goods, agricultural and livestock produce as well as fish, among other commodities.
Mr Noorani added that the hotel, which is ideal for meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE), is set to host the SKAL World Congress in 2018.
“We invested heavily in constructing more than 10 conference rooms and banquet centre in Mombasa to benefit from MICE through hosting local and internationals meetings,” he said.
Other amenities offered by the hotel include an aqua theme park, cinema facilities, bars, restaurants, and swimming pools.
“We are also bidding for 10 other international conventions and meetings as part of efforts to promote Mombasa as a conference hub,” said Mr Noorani.
The unveiling of PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort, Convention Centre and Spa last Friday, brought the number of hotels operated by the group in Mombasa and Nairobi to seven.
Others include Pride Express Nyali, PrideInn Hotel Mombasa, Pride Express Diani, PrideInn Hotel Raphta, PrideInn Hotel Westlands and PrideInn Suites Lantana.
PrideInn said the diversification of Mombasa from a beach destination into a MICE hub would address the challenge of low-tourist season.
Tourism secretary Najib Balala, who opened the hotel, praised PrideInn Group for the Sh3.1 billion investment.
Over the years, Mr Balala said, Mombasa had missed out on opportunities to host international conventions due to inadequate conference facilities.
“I am happy that Mombasa now has a convention centre which can host 2,500 participants in one sitting, creating opportunities for the region to attract global meetings,” he said.
Mr Balala said hotels at the Coast would be busy throughout the year if they combine the popular beach product with conference tourism.
On marketing, Mr Balala said the ministry would promote domestic and regional tourism to cushion the sector from low international tourist arrivals during the low season.
“Last year, domestic tourism grew to 54 per cent up from 47 per cent in 2015, an indication that locals are key to sustaining hotel guest numbers,” he said.