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Kisumu town revels in booming hotel industry

Parkview Hotel and Apartments

Parkview Hotel and Apartments

Ten facilities have been put up in the last five years as stakeholders say demand still high

Kisumu town is witnessing unprecedented growth in the hotel industry, with over ten facilities put up in the last five years.

The new hotels include Parkview Safari Hotel and Apartments, Le Vic, Great Lakes, Le Savannah, Royal City, and Jumia Guest Resort.

Industry players say the hotels have created an additional 300-bed capacity.

Kisumu Hotels Managers Group Chairman Robinson Anyah said the growth has been due to high demand for accommodation and conference facilities.

“There is a bed capacity of 1,500 rooms but the demand is still high. Currently, we have about 3,000 rooms,” said Mr Anyah, who is also the General Manager Parkview Hotel and Apartments.

He said despite the many hotels sprouting, they can hardly match the growing demand.

He said after Kenya Tourism Board reported a shortage of hotels in the Western Kenya Tourism Circuit, some years ago, many people started investing in Kisumu.

“The problem is many investors transformed residential houses into guest houses,” he added.

During the 2007 post-poll violence, a number of hotels were destroyed in Kisumu. For instance, looters razed down Kimwa Grand Hotel and Classic Guest House.

Rose Nyakwaka, the Marketing Manager at Great Lakes Hotel (GLH), said the standards of the hospitality industry in Kisumu are still low.

Stiff competition

“Just having a room with a TV set is not enough. There is need for services such as Internet,” said Mrs Nyakwaka, adding that old hotels in the town have been forced to review their rates downwards, due to stiff competition from new ones.

She said GLH, with 103 rooms, has the highest number. The hotel was opened two years ago.

The new phenomenon in Kisumu is for hotels to acquire several branches such as Royal City, which has three, and Triple Trojan that has five facilities. “We even have a facility in the Central Business District in which bed and breakfast is Sh700 only,” said Oscar Modoch, the General Manager of the Budget Guest House facilities.

Many hotels such GLH and Triple Trojan utilise conference facilities as major source of revenue.

The stakeholders said a number of NGOs in Western hold functions in Kisumu, since it is centrally located.

Parkview Safari Hotel and Apartments has tried to be unique by giving customers the option of preparing their meals. The expansion of Kisumu airport is also set to spur the hotel industry.-Standard

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