, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 25 – TPS Serena is set to receive a Sh2.1 billion ($20 million) loan facility from PROPARCO (a subsidiary of the French Development Agency) to fund capital expenditure needs of the Kenyan portfolio of hotels, lodges and camps.
The facility will be implemented over a two year period commencing 2016.
The hotel chain plans to redevelop and refurbish Nairobi Serena hotel, which accounts for 28.8 percent of Kenya’s room nights, from next year on a phased basis.
The project will include new conference and banqueting facilities, refurbished bedrooms and public areas.
Investments in other Serena properties in Kenya will continue to be implemented on an ongoing basis.
TPS manages 15 hotels and resorts across East Africa under the Serena brand name.
“Serena’s hotels, lodges and resorts distinguish themselves through their contribution to the local economy, their good governance, the training of skilled manpower, the involvement of craft industries and through sensitive conservation of the surrounding area. This includes placing priority on the hiring and training of local residents for employment at all levels,” said Mahmud Janmohamed, Managing Director of Serena Hotels.
PROPARCO’s long-term relationship with TPS Serena includes: shareholding in TPS Serena, equity participation in the Kampala Serena Hotel – which will add 32 new rooms, food and beverage and meeting facilities during the period 2015 and 2016 as well as equity participation in Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel – which is scheduled to undergo refurbishment and extension of the dining areas, Maisha Spa and public areas commencing January 2016.
“PROPARCO is honoured to support a stakeholder like TPS that has risen to the challenge of promoting sustainable and culturally sensitive tourism in under-served regions.” says CEO Claude Périou.
Périou says that tourism, as an industry, is a major economic growth driver, creator of employment and an effective tool for local development. Sound hospitality infrastructure is essential to a country’s attractiveness, competitiveness and ability to draw foreign investment.
The firm posted a loss of Sh139 million in the six months through June, compared with a profit of Sh58 million in the same period of 2014.
The move comes as the country is revamping its tourism sector that has been hard hit by travel advisories issued by its key source markets owing to attacks by the Al Shabaab militia.
United States President Barack Obama’s visit last month and Britain’s lifting of the travel advisory covering most of the coast in June is expected to significantly boost the sector back to profitability.