MELIA HOTELS SAID TO EYE KENYA FOR EXPANSION IN AFRICA
Spanish hotel and resort group Melia, already in East Africa with one property in Zanzibar, is said to be eyeing an entry in to the Kenyan market to expand their footprint in Africa. Melia currently is also present in Egypt with two resorts and Cape Verde with one resort but has reportedly been seeking management of existing resorts and hotels in Kenya too, with locations ranging from Lamu to Mombasa and from Nairobi into the Rift Valley.
If correct, and indications from sources in Nairobi claim their information is accurate, it would mean that one of Spain’s largest if not the largest hotel and resort group will add their name to an ever widening presence of the world’s top ranked hotel companies. Kempinski will open a new luxury property soon as will Dusit and Radisson Blue and others will join the throng either this year or next year, to capitalize on Kenya’s economic strength and ideal geographical location in Eastern Africa with daily air connections to the world.
Recent finds of oil and major planned infrastructure projects like a new harbour, highways, railways and pipelines are expected to be economic drivers over the next few years and with tourism already a key activity, given the exotic beaches and famous national parks found all over the country, hotel groups have, since the Africa Hotel Investment Forum last year at the InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi, taken a renewed interest to invest in new or manage existing hotels.
The Africa Hotel Investment Forum will be returning to Nairobi later this year for the second time and again take place at the InterConti from September 24th to 25th. The ‘da capo’ for Nairobi is also an indicator that Kenya, and East Africa, will remain on sharp focus for global hotel giants not yet represented in the region. Watch this space.