MARRIOTT, HILTON, LATITUDE ALL SET TO SHAKE UP KAMPALA’S HOTEL INDUSTRY
(Posted 23rd November 2018)
While proven performers in Kampala’s hotel industry will try to build firewalls around their key clientele but also move to protect their backbone staff from being ‘poached‘ will fringe and non-performers in the industry probably rue the day they invested in a hotel building they were ultimately unable to fill with life and turn it into a high demand facility, as new global and continental brand names appear on the horizon.
Latitude Hotels’ anticipated opening in late 2018 has shifted to early next year, another reminder to take proposed opening dates with a grain of salt given the often extremely challening supply chain and logistics headaches, while the new Hilton Garden Inn near the British High Commission appears on course for their 2019 opening.
Marriott International’s arrival in Kampala also seems to be a done deal and construction is expected to go underway in 2019 too with an estimated completion period of around 30 months.
Existing stakeholders, knowing fully well what is coming their way, have not been sitting idle however.
The Kampala Serena Hotel has now all but completed their phase 1 of the workscope they embarked on two years ago with new rooms and suites and additional function facilities fully operational, including a 5th floor Executive Lounge for their premium guests. Next year will start the complete technical overhaul of the Kampala Serena Conference Centre, which will catapult the city centre facility into the top tier of MICE venues across the entire region.
Mestil Hotel, as reported here just a few days ago, is also in expansion mode with the construction of a dedicated conference centre and additional rooms, posing a serious challenge to some of Kampala’s older hotels struggling with their timelines to refurbish, and others apparently loath to spend money on regular maintenance and upgrades of their hotels.
Three star continental hotel group Onomo Hotels too has not given up on their plans to establish a hotel in Kampala, following indications that excellence in the three star segment, at affordable tariffs, remains an increasingly sought after option for travelers coming to the Ugandan capital on both business and leisure.
Come who may, be it leading global brand names or some of the until now lesser known African brands, Kampala’s hotel scene will see a shake up coming its way ahead of oil production finally kicking in around 2021 and forewarned is forearmed, at least for those who can see and comprehend the writing on the wall.
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