According to the recently published Hotel Valuation Index Africa by global hospitality consulting firm HVS, which benchmarks hotel markets for risk assessment and future developments, of the 23 major African cities measured last year, five of the top seven cities are based in East Africa.
Kenneth Oigo, Associate Director of Profica East Africa, a leading property and construction solutions company that has been operating in Africa for over a decade, says that hotel brand expansion and development is a big-ticket item on the agenda of international investors.
With Profica’s strong track record in Kenya and Rwanda, as well as fast-growing portfolios of work in Uganda and Tanzania, Oigo notes an interesting aspect to hotel investment and development. “Not only are we seeing the major, already-entrenched brand names actively seeking expansion opportunities, but there is a new wave of non-mainstream, niche operators that are investing in the region. These operators are providing flexible boutique offerings that include short- and long-stay options combined with serviced workplace venues, ideal for both business and leisure travellers.”
“Profica is providing comprehensive project management services to one such hotel development in Kampala,” says Oigo, “from ground-breaking through to completion of construction, furnishing of the hotel and final handover of the project to the client. Our team in Uganda enjoys a close working relationship with the client representative who is based in Kampala and who oversees the day-to-day activities and approvals.”
Another flexible development that Profica is involved in is located on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya, within the United Nations/ diplomatic zone. Oigo says: “The placement of this particular development is astute, catering for international aid workers and diplomats who may be required to stay for extended periods. The upmarket, fully serviced development consists of flexible daily guest stays and monthly tenancies which are also available for sale.”
Profica is no stranger to working with large hotel groups and project managed to handover Nairobi’s iconic Radisson Blu hotel. Oigo says that the large hotel groups, combined with less mainstream operators who are offering adjustable stay options, bring tremendous value and flexibility to the East African hospitality sector. “Not only in meeting the business tourism that is growing in the area due to renewed investor interest, but also in catering for an upswing in leisure tourism as the region’s economic prospects continue to grow along with political stability, providing an alternative to traditional European destinations.”
He adds: “Due to Profica’s on-the-ground presence in the region and specialist project management capabilities and experience within multiple sectors, we are well situated to support both major and new-entrant hotel operators, new build and redevelopment.”
Profica, long-committed to the East Africa region, is one of the sponsors of the East Africa Property Investment Summit (EAPI), which will be focusing this year on driving investment in the region. Oigo will be speaking at the event, which will be held on 24 and 25 April at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi.