Kenya to host African hoteliers forum in September

March 28, 2012
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Kenya to host African hoteliers forum in September/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Kenya’s hotel industry is set to receive a major investment boost from the upcoming African Hoteliers Investment Forum (AHIF) slated for September.

Tourism Secretary Nelson Githinji said on Wednesday that this would be the second time AHIF is held after last year’s event in Morocco and this re-affirms foreign investor confidence in the country.

“Around five international brands have signed contracts with the government to put up hotels in the country. We are looking forward to making sure the number grows tremendously. With large infrastructure investments such as LAPSSET (Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor), it is very encouraging that the roads will allow international brands to have a direct way into the country,” said Githinji.

Githinji further lauded the Kenya Tourist Development Cooperation (KTDC) on its ongoing activities to increase and uplift investment into the sector by the privatisation of some of its hotels saying this will allow further economic growth.

Matthew Weisz who is the Managing Director of Bench Events, which is putting together the forum, said they were targeting to bring 4,000 in regional and international investors.

“Ten percent of our audience will be from the investor or hotel owner category. They’re looking to have a better understanding of the market and to meet future operators, developers and key stakeholders, who will enable the creation of the financial deals that will fuel the hotel industry,” Weisz said.

The KTDC Managing Director Marianne Ndegwa said investors have pledged to put up 208 new hotels with over 38,000 rooms over the next five years. This in turn represents an increase in capacity of 30 percent over the existing base.

“Of the total number of rooms in the pipelines, 55 percent are under construction, the balance are in the planning and design phases,” Ndegwa said.

AHIF aims to showcase the potential Kenya has to offer as well as other high-growth destinations across the continent.

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