BIG hotel brands are considering investing in Kenya but are now mainly concentrating on the North African region despite recent turmoils, a new regional industry survey shows. West Africa based W Hospitality group's annual survey of the international hotel brands' development activities in Africa shows that 208 global hotel firms are set to expand into the continent with an additional 38,000 upcoming rooms.
Of the total pipeline, 46 per cent are in the five countries of North Africa, and 54 per cent in the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Though Kenya does not feature in the top ten African countries with the highest number of upcoming new international hotels and total room numbers, it is ranked position nine in terms of construction status of these planned hotels which are said to be 74 per cent complete.
The survey states that Nairobi is seeing more activity than it has for many years, with Best Western, Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Three Cities-branded hotels all under construction, and a 200-room Lansmore Hotel, Lonrho's new brand, on the drawing board. Kenya Tourism Development Corporation CEO Maryann Ndegwa said the upcoming hotels are cause for "excitement" in the country because global brands are positive on its prospects. Kenya's bed capacity at the moment is estimated at 60,000 which falls below the global standard requirement of at least 100,000. This limits the country's ability to hold major conferences and meetings.