Kenya is set to host nine new international hotels which are planning to put up 1,437 hotel rooms to cater for growing demand for travel and accommodation in the country. This comes on the back of increasing interest by international hotel brands seeking to set base in Nairobi.

A study released last week by W Hospitality Group, a member of Hotel Partners Africa shows that there are 40,000 hotel rooms planned for construction on the African continent between now and 2017 with 1,437 to be put up in Nairobi.

Nigerian capital, Lagos, will host the largest number of hotel rooms totalling 4,080. This is followed by two Egyptian cities, Cairo with 2,843 hotel rooms and Hurghada with 2,221.


The report said the next most popular places are Abuja with 1,598 rooms, Algiers with 1,528 rooms and Tangier with 1,505 rooms.

“The opportunity for the hospitality industry to support demand for travel as the middle class grows from 300 million today to 1 billion by 2050, is key to the continent’s economic success and the prosperity of its people,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, a hotel chain.

The trends and challenges of hotel development in Africa will be scrutinised in detail at Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), which brings together leading international hotel investors in Africa with local operators, tourism ministers, government officials and industry experts in attendance.

Villa Rosa Kempinski, established in 1897 as a luxury hotel group, opened doors to guests on September 1 with 200 hotel rooms along Chiromo road in Nairobi. The hotel has a portfolio of 74 five-star hotels in 32 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

In May this year, Hemingways, a global hotel chain opened a Sh1.5 billion facility in Nairobi, targeting the growing luxury and travel business.

Marriot, another five star international hotel plans to open a hotel in Kenya by 2015 in a Sh127 billion ($1.5 billion) investment in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Benin, Gabon, Nigeria and Rwanda.

Hilton also plans to open two hotels in Nairobi, Rwanda and Congo. Rezidor, another international chain is scheduled to open two new hotels in Nairobi by 2014.

Accor, a global chain intends to open 30 new hotels with nearly 5,000 new rooms in Kenya, South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco and Algeria by 2016. Emaar Hospitality Group, a Dubai based hotel group also has its eyes set on the East African region.

Other hotel brands seeking to invest in the Kenya include Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Lonrho hotels. Many of the deals were made at the AHIF in Nairobi last year. The conference is scheduled to take place in Nairobi on 23 – 25 September this year.

“The most interesting thing to look at in the numbers is not so much the scale of the development pipeline but how things are changing from city to city,” noted W Hospitality Group and HPA founder, Trevor Ward.

The country receives nearly two million visitors annually, but the bed capacity is still inadequate with industry players projecting that an additional 10,000 – 15,000 hotel rooms will be needed in the next five to 10 years to accommodate the expected rise in the number of tourists coming to Kenya. The country is positioning to assert its place as a business, financial, economic, tourism and transport and communication hub in Eastern and Central Africa region.