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20 global hotels in beeline for Kenya

Tourists at a Coast hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Tourists at a Coast hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

About 20 major international hotel brands are lined up to open shop in Kenya over the next five years.

The 2018 Pipeline report released by W Hospitality Group shows the 20 facilities are expected to add 3,444 hotel rooms between now and 2023.

At least 14 of the hotels are scheduled for opening by next year.

The Best Western Group tops the list of hotels in the pipeline, with six properties already under construction.

One of the hotels is in Naivasha and the rest in Nairobi under its Best Western, BW Premier Collection, Best Western Plus and Executive Residency by Best Western brands.

The Radisson Hotel Group, which already has two operational properties in Nairobi, is set to open a third one next year.

“With our new brand segmentation, we have the potential to operate more than 10 hotels within cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos providing real scale and operational synergies while cities such as Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Dar es Salaam, Durban and Dakar have the potential to have more than five hotels under our various hotel brands,” said the Radisson Hotel Group senior vice-president for development in sub-Saharan Africa, Andrew Mclachlan.

Three new brands

The group is also planning to open the three new brands in Kenya, namely RED Radisson, Radisson and Radisson Collection.

“This strategy will reinforce our presence in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia. It will also develop a robust portfolio across the cities within Africa’s three largest Economic Communities,” said Mr Mclachlan.

“We are also looking into operating a beach resort on the coast as well as bring Park Inn by Radisson hotels to Mombasa and Kisimu,” said Radisson in response to the Business Daily questions.

Wyndham, CityBlue, Hilton, Marriot, Radisson, Accor, Dusit, Swiss International and Sarovar are also set to grow their portfolios and rooms in the country, with the bulk of them located in Nairobi.

Swiss International Hotels will open its initial property in Mt Kenya while Wyndham will debut in Amboseli.

Kenya is set to host the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), organised by the Bench Events in October.

The ninth edition of the event will bring together business leaders from the international and regional markets, driving investment in tourism projects, and infrastructure and hotel development across the continent.

The hotel brands pipeline will be a boost to the profile of Kenya as an investment and travel hotspot.

68 brands

Kenya, according to the Knight Frank 2018 Hotels report, has 68 global hotel brands, topping Nigeria and Tanzania.

Swiss International Hotels & Resorts CEO Hans Kennedy said they opened an area office in Nairobi to better harness the opportunities in Africa, according to the 2018 Pipeline Report.

The chain is focusing on expansion in East Africa but is also keen to grow its presence in West Africa.

Mr Kennedy said the benefits of having an office on the continent are already being realised.

Swiss International Hotels & Resorts have signed an agreement to develop and operate two lifestyle resorts, the Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya and the Royal Swiss Empuku in Uganda, both set for completion in 2019.

“Kenya and East Africa, including Ethiopia, have diversified economies with revenue from different sectors including manufacturing, service and mining, all drivers of GDP.

"They are not reliant on a single resource such as oil. This makes them more attractive and stable for investment. They are also more politically stable,” said Trevor Ward, Principal, W Hospitality Group and Hotel Partners Africa.

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