Shareholders of Sarova Panafric Hotel Nairobi will invest Sh1 billion in refurbishing, improving its offering and adding new features this year.
Group managing director Jimi Kariuki said the move is meant to enhance its appeal to clients and retain a competitive edge in the fast-changing market.
Mr Kariuki, who is also the Kenya Tourism Board chairman, said the investment was informed by feasibility studies that showed Kenya’s tourism numbers were growing at a fast rate, attracting global hospitality brands to set up shop in Nairobi.
“In Mombasa, Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel has successfully been refurbished and guests will enjoy 338 newly added rooms. Tourism is growing and hoteliers are happy with the flow of foreign and local tourists,” he said.
The planned refurbishment of Sarova Panafric comes hardly six months after the group opened the Sh1 billion Sarova Woodlands Hotel and Spa in Nakuru.
Other property owned by Sarova Group include Sarova Stanley, the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa, and Sarova Mara Camp in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers chief executive Mike Macharia said 35 three to five star hotels were opened in various parts of the country in the recent past as global hospitality brands put up new facilities.
Mr Macharia said that Kenya’s growing stature as a regional hub, recent oil discoveries in East Africa, and a growing expatriate community have created an urgent need to expand hospitality facilities to accommodate rising numbers.
Last year, Kenya hosted 1.5 million tourists earning Sh120 billion compared to Sh1.3 million tourists who visited in 2016 leaving behind Sh100 billion.