, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – A total of 16 hotels are expected to be built in Kenya in the next five years, adding 2,900 rooms and expanding capacity by 14 percent.
This is according to the latest PwC Hotels Outlook 2016-2020 report focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa.
International hotel companies which have expressed interest for Kenya include Marriott, Sheraton, Ramada, Hilton Garden Inn, Mövenpick Hotel and Four Points by Sheraton.
The report says Kenya’s robust economic growth will play a key role in attracting new hotels and business travelers as well as domestic and foreign tourists.
“Kenya’s economic growth trend is strong and the planned hotel investment reflects confidence in the country’s growth trajectory, rising middle class, urbanisation, devolution and position as a regional hub for multinational businesses,” the report says.
READ: Hilton to build Africa’s tallest hotel building in Nairobi.
Kenya’s construction industry, access to the port of Mombasa, a skilled workforce and other factors have also contributed to Kenya’s position as a preferred destination for investment.
The country has also demonstrated resilience with regard to various challenges and a commitment to address challenges like insecurity.
The study projects the number of available rooms to increase from 18,100 in 2015 to 20,700 in 2020, representing a 2.7 percent compound annual increase. Stay unit nights will total an estimated 3.7 million in 2020, a 1.1 percent compound annual increase from 3.5 million in 2015.
But despite the good news of more hotel investors, concerns about political instability and terrorism in the near term, remain the primary issues impacting the hospitality sector and the experience in early 2016 indicates that declines in stay unit nights will continue.
The recovery is expected to fully begin in 2018 after the 2017 elections, with growth averaging 1.1 percent compounded annually through to 2020.
“We expected that safety concerns would continue to affect the hotel market adversely in 2015 and our projection for stay unit nights was on target,” the report says.
On Africa outlook, the report says the tourism industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant sectors of Africa’s economy.
In spite of recent challenges, including the fall in oil prices, change in visa regulations in South Africa and contraction of the global economy, the sector has significant potential to create jobs, uplift inclusive economic growth across the continent, and reduce poverty.
“Africa is steadily developing into one of the world’s great regions for travel. With its exceptional, unfiltered fusion of breathtaking, life-inspiring offerings – history, heritage, culture, tradition, wildlife, natural beauty, and most importantly, the innate spirit of the continent’s people.”