Kigali — Marriott International, an American diversified hospitality company are expected to complete their over US$65million investment in Rwanda late next year adding to the number of Five Star hotels in Rwanda.
The Marriott Hotel Rwanda will be the first in the East and Southern Africa, increasing Rwanda's competitiveness within the region for conference tourism and general hospitality related business.
The hotel which owns internationally acclaimed facilities like the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance centre, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and operates other Marriott hotels in Egypt, Dubai and Singapore.
The New Century Development Ltd (NCD) which specializes in hospitality and construction management business negotiated a 30 year management deal with Marriott International to run the hotel on the same standards in Kigali.
The Facility in Kigali will become one of Marriott International's more than 3,700 properties in over 73 countries and territories around the world.
According Solomon Adede, NCD's deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Finance, the hotel aims at changing the face of hospitality as well as improving the nationally acclaimed poor service delivery in the service sector of Rwanda.
NCD has 100% shareholding in New Century Development (Hong Kong) Limited a company that specializes in construction materials procurement.
Adede tells The EABW that the hotel will have 254 five star rooms once completed in October 2013.
"We are Marriott hotel and that will have to show not in name but what we do, we want to set the standard for others to follow," said Adede.
The hotel is also expected to employ about three hundred workers specially trained and groomed through Marriott's training school in Dubai to ensure the standards of the hotel remain the same even in Rwanda.
"We are a five star hotel and while we won't be the least expensive on the market, we shall provide something worth every penny," added Adede.
Rwanda's hospitality industry is widely criticized for having poor customer care which many visitors into the country have complained about in the past but Marriott investors say it will be there onus to help change and improve that area for their own good."When someone sleeps in a Rwandan hotel with poor service delivery and in the end blames the sector that would include us as well a tag we are not ready for, emphasized Adede.
As a result, the investors have on top of their hotel investment added a Marriott training school which will groom not only Marriott staff but also open to providing special trainings to those who meet the requirements.
The centre will also be used for future Marriott trainings for new facilities that might come up in future.
Adede reveals that the hotel has already sent twenty female Rwandans for training in Dubai and these will work as trainers for the bulk of the other Marriott staff to be recruited in Rwanda.
Beyond staff training needs, the Marriott training centre poses a regional significance as it will make Rwanda a new spot for professional training an area that is still dominated by Kenya.
While Rwanda's hospitality sector continues to grow, a recent survey by RDB in the hospitality sector also indicated that a bulk of hotel managers in the country lack proper professional training a factor attributed to lack of proper trainers and schools.
Rwanda has 370 registered hotels with 6700 rooms across the country but only 31 have been graded and awarded stars.