South Africa’s largest hotel chain quits Kenyan safari market

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South Africa’s largest hotel chain quits Kenyan safari market

Come the end of January, South African hotel chain, Tsogo Sun Hotels, is set to close its property in Kenyan capital city – the Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi, citing an increased competition.

Tsogo Sun Hotels had confirmed to close its hotel in Kenya by January 31, saying that the Kenyan hospitality industry had witnessed the entry of established hotel brands in the past few years.

The South African hotel chain said the Nairobi’s four-star Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel will cease its operations on the said date then and exit the Kenyan market altogether after a decade of services.

Tsogo Sun Hotels has been in operation in Kenya since 2010.

The 171-room hotel unsuccessfully tried to remain afloat and open in the face of increased competition over the past decade, as Kenya’s hospitality industry continues to witness entry of new players and expansion by established brands, which has made survival hard for brands like Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel, Tsogo Sun said.

The opening of the new global hotel and hospitality chains saw the available rooms hit over 20,000 in Kenya. New signings over the past two years spurred the growth of the number of hotels in Kenya’s pipeline with the Hotel Chain Development Pipelines in Africa 2019 report showing that another 27 hotels will soon be opened in Kenya.

Kenya is estimated to have 68 globally-branded hotels, a number that is expected to increase with the current investment trend.

The new hotels will bring to the market 4,232 new hotel rooms by 2023. The bulk of the hotels in the pipeline are expected to open in 2021, with 1,155 rooms scheduled to enter the market, reports from Nairobi said.

Radisson, Accor, City Lodge, Hilton, Swiss International, City Blue and Marriott are some of the brands expected to grow their local footprint with new properties in the country.

Existing hospitality firms including Simba Corporation and Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) Eastern Africa, the owner of the Serena hotels brand, have also been expanding their portfolios.

Kenya remains the leading safari destination in East Africa with high class accommodation establishments, air services and fast growing tourist facilities to attract international holidaymakers.

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