Major hotel projects boost Kenya’s rating

Kenya’s hotel room capacity is set to increase by more than 1,500 rooms this year, owing to increased investment by international hotel brands. Eight major hotels under construction within Nairobi are set to be completed by the end of the year, boosting accommodation capacity.

This comes after a new report rated Kenya at position seven in terms of African countries currently undertaking major hotel projects. This is aimed at reducing the huge supply gap in the hotel accommodation segment.

The Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa 2015 Report by W Hospitality Group reveals that out of the 1,510 rooms to be delivered, 1,050 accounting for 70 per cent are complete. W Hospitality Group Managing Director Trevor Ward said international hotel brands are increasingly investing in the African hospitality industry.

They include Mantis, Park Inn by Radisson, Hilton, Mariot, Sheraton, Noom, Hilton Garden Inn and Kempinski. The hotels to be delivered in Kenya are part of 165 new hotels comprising of 50,000 rooms expected to be built in Africa this year.

More investments are expected to be announced during the forthcoming Africa Hotel Investment Forum Between September 30 and October 10, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 6,000 delegates

The increase in room capacity in Kenya will enhance the country’s profile as it prepares to host more than 6,000 delegates during the World Trade Organisation 10th Ministerial Conference later this year.

“What we’re seeing now is growing confidence right across Africa, including a recognition that there are opportunities beyond North Africa which can, and must, be exploited,” said Mr Ward. “Several of the international hotel chains have established local development offices, the newest being Hyatt in Nairobi, and the chains are more serious about building their businesses below the equator.”

In Nairobi, the Government plans to construct the Sh50 billion Bomas International Convention Centre. Late last year, the State appointed audit firm PriceWaterHouseCoopers as transaction advisors for the construction of the multi-billion shilling convention centre.

“Kenya and Uganda saw the largest increases, at over 100 per cent and 90 per cent respectively, albeit from a much smaller base than the four leading nations. Despite the continued difficulties that the country has faced, Egypt recorded a substantial 37 per cent increase in its pipeline, indicative of returning confidence,” he explained.

North Africa recorded modest recovery and confidence. For individual countries, Nigeria has by far the most rooms with over 8,500 rooms in 51 planned new hotels.

Egypt is second as it is establishing 18 hotels with 6440 rooms, out of which 85 per cent are complete, accounting for 5,480 rooms.