About 20 major international hotel brands are lined up to open shop in Kenya over the next five years.
The 2018 Pipeline report released by W Hospitality Group shows the 20 facilities are expected to add 3,444 hotel rooms between now and 2023. At least 14 of the hotels are scheduled for opening by next year. The Best Western Group tops the list of hotels in the pipeline, with six properties already under construction. One of the hotels is in Naivasha and the rest in Nairobi under its Best Western, BW Premier Collection, Best Western Plus and Executive Residency by Best Western brands.
Swiss International Hotels will open its initial property in Mt Kenya while Wyndham will debut in Amboseli.
Kenya is set to host the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), organised by the Bench Events in October.
The ninth edition of the event will bring together business leaders from the international and regional markets, driving investment in tourism projects, and infrastructure and hotel development across the continent.
The hotel brands pipeline will be a boost to the profile of Kenya as an investment and travel hotspot.
Kenya, according to the Knight Frank 2018 Hotels report, has 68 global hotel brands, topping Nigeria and Tanzania.
Swiss International Hotels & Resorts CEO Hans Kennedy said they opened an area office in Nairobi to better harness the opportunities in Africa, according to the 2018 Pipeline Report.
The chain is focusing on expansion in East Africa but is also keen to grow its presence in West Africa.
Mr Kennedy said the benefits of having an office on the continent are already being realised.
Swiss International Hotels & Resorts have signed an agreement to develop and operate two lifestyle resorts, the Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya and the Royal Swiss Empuku in Uganda, both set for completion in 2019.
“Kenya and East Africa, including Ethiopia, have diversified economies with revenue from different sectors including manufacturing, service and mining, all drivers of GDP.
“They are not reliant on a single resource such as oil. This makes them more attractive and stable for investment. They are also more politically stable,” said Trevor Ward, Principal, W Hospitality Group and Hotel Partners Africa.