Kenya's bid to attract hotel investors
Kenya is hoping to entice more big name hotel brands to invest in the country as it looks to diversify its tourism market.
The Kenyan government is backing incentives to attract investment in the country such as tax holidays, land on lease, single licensing, exemption of duty and 100 percent investment allowance for investors.
More investments are needed to maintain the growing number of visitors recorded each year and to increase Kenyan’s capacity to accommodate them.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Tourism Minister Dan Mwazo reassured investors of the government’s support for tourism at the opening of the West Africa Hotel Investors Conference.
The Vice President praised investors in the sector for putting cash into alternative accommodation such as villas, home-stays, eco lodges and golf resorts which would help to diversify Kenya’s tourism product.
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He said: "In terms of tourism products, we are no longer solely dependent on beach and safari. We have developed niche products such as Eco-tourism, adventure and sports tourism.
“The two day conference brought together industry chiefs from some of the biggest hotel brands in the world with a view of taking a critical look at investment and growth opportunities in Africa.”
Speaker Ian Gold urged investors to take advantage of the rapidly growing market. He said: "By 2020, the hotel investment opportunities in this region will be enormous.”
He cited a growing GDP, middle class and increasing regional connectivity in terms of air transport as some of the factors that will drive tourism business in the continent.