By JAMES KARIUKI
Global hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has expanded into the Kenyan market with a planned Four Points Sheraton Hotel to be build at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The facility is one among six other hotels planned by the global hospitality giant through its investment arm the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
In a statement to the press, the company said the hotel which is being build at the JKIA will target business and leisure travellers visiting Kenya.
The hotel operator said it planned to expand ‘its luxury, upscale and mid-market brands’ where customers in Africa will have a chance to enjoy nine out of its ten compelling lifestyle brands.
“The momentum of growth we are seeing in Africa today is unprecedented. It is a reiteration of the trust our owners have in us, the power of our distinct lifestyle brands and the strength of our global distribution and award-winning loyalty program,” said Starwood’s President for Europe, Africa and Middle East Mr Michael Wale.
Mr Wale said that Kenya was among African countries enjoying a steady economic growth with rapid urbanisation driven by the emerging middle class.
Kenya’s middle class love for travel and demand for high quality lodging, said Mr Wale, provides Starwood hotels an opportunity to grow their brands.
The firm is expanding its business in other African countries with six other hotels now under construction including the W Sharm El Sheikh and The Residences in Egypt, Sheraton Bamako in Mali, The Westin Abuja and Residences in Nigeria, Four Points by Sheraton Abuja and The Residences also in Nigeria, Aloft Dakar in Senegal and Element Oyster Bay Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development Neil George expressed optimism at the arrangement saying franchising had opened up new opportunities for them to drive growth of their mid-market brands. The hotel will be build under a franchise agreement signed with AirMarc Limited.
“We are also beginning to see more opportunities for conversion which we are pursuing actively and are confident that this will give further impetus to our growth trajectory. We remain focused on choosing the right partners and the right brands in established, emerging as well as unexplored but interesting destinations,” he said.
Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands St Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin Le Meridien, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, Element and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio.