The announcement comes at a time when players in the industry have been lamenting about the insufficient accommodation. Balala said the industry’s bed capacity has been declining since the 2007/2008 post election violence. According to the ministry, the bed capacity currently stands at about 60,000 which is below the 100,000 requirement.
About five five-star hotels across the country are expected to be constructed in the next one year with prominent international business magnates set to start construction of world class hotels. “The future of our tourism industry is very bright. We have about five five-star hotels coming up in the next one or two years,” said Balala.
British business magnate and owner of the Virgin Group of companies Sir Richard Branson is set to put up a world class lodge at the Maasai Mara, Balala said.
Belgium’s Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts owned by the Rezidor Hotel Group and the Best Western International are set to enter the Kenyan market with hotels in Nairobi. Balala said: “The putting up of these hotels will boost our tourism industry by increasing the bed capacity.”
The minister said three more projects are set to be initiated in Kilifi including a golf course capable of hosting international tournaments. One of the hotels is to be put up by Italian tycoon and former manager of Formula One racing team Renault Flavio Briatore, according to insiders in the ministry.