Hyatt Hotels snubs Kenya in Africa expansion plan


By Anne Njanja | Business Daily, Kenya October 4, 2017

Global hospitality chain Hyatt Hotels Corporation has snubbed Kenya in its Africa expansion plan despite making Nairobi its sub-Saharan Africa hub four years ago.

Hyatt Hotels Tuesday announced plans to open six new hotels in Africa over the next three years.

Group vice-president for acquisitions and development Peter Penev said at a media briefing in Nairobi that Hyatt was not keen on investing locally in the short term.

Hyatt made Nairobi its Sub-Saharan Africa hub in 2013, when it officially announced plans to explore investment opportunities on the continent.

The luxury hotel brand is set to venture into four new markets in Africa; Ethiopia, Cameroon, Algeria and Dakar, between 2018 and 2020. It also plans to open facilities in Tanzania and Morocco where the firm already has two hotels in each country.

The hotels in the pipeline will have a bed capacity of more than 1,100 rooms.

Hyatt Hotels, which has facilities in South Africa and Egypt too, has 13 brands under its label including Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place and Miraval.

“Nine out of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa and evidently there are opportunities for growth on the continent.

‘‘When launching new projects we do not do it independently, we have partners we work with to identity where our brands have a viable opportunity. We have been looking into the Kenyan market but we have nothing conclusive at the moment,” said Mr Penev.

The firm stated that part of its long-term plan is to venture into Cote d’Ivore, Mozambique, Uganda and Rwanda in the wake of growing African tourism.

East Africa is part of Hyatt’s primary focus area owing to it’s infrastructure development, bourgeoning middle-class and stability.

“With the introduction of a Pan-African, visa-free passport next year alongside the continued improvement in the connectivity and growth of the region’s airlines, we expect tourist and business travel will only continue to increase.

‘‘We look forward to working with our local developers and partners to further deliver on our ambitious plan to help grow the hotel industry in East Africa.”

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