Swiss hotel chain expands to East Africa with a Kenyan debut

Swiss global hotel chain Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts enters Kenya as it looks to expand its hospitality business in East Africa.

The global brand made this Kenyan debut with the official opening of a 5-star hotel located in Nairobi, which has 276 spacious room and a hall capable of hosting up to 1,100 guests in theatre style.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which is jointly held by Mövenpick Holding (66.7 percent) and a Saudi based  company, Kingdom Group (33.3 percent), operates over 80 properties, including hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers across the Middle East and Asia.

According to the President in charge of Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts for the Middle East & African region, Marc Descrozaille, “this is an exciting and timely moment to enter Kenya’s hospitality market, with the tourism sector becoming increasingly important to the country’s economy.”

“Our debut in Nairobi,” he said in The Exchange, “also acts as a springboard to grow our footprint across East Africa as we pursue development opportunities in the region.”

In 2017, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) released a report titled African Insight Hotel Outlook, which noted that the tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant sectors of Africa’s economy.

The report also noted that, due to Kenya’s flourishing economy, 13 new hotels are expected to open by 2021, which will boost visits to the East African country and increase the compound annual rate by 4.1 over the next five years.

Most recent statistics on Kenya’s hospitality industry, show that the industry contributes an average of 10 percent to the country’s GDP (the same percentage the banking industry generates), which is higher than the continent’s average of 8.1%. The revenue generation of the industry is also predicted to grow by 6 percent annually over the next decade.