Voi Wildlife Lodge Group’s expansion will see the hotel chain put up properties worth at least Sh500 million. The company is putting up cottages, selling serviced plots and tented camps on its land that borders Tsavo National Park in Taita Taveta County.
The hotelier said that its plan is to concentrate on its core business of management and leave the development to private investors. “You will own the tent and we will manage it for you,” Voi Wildlife Lodge Group general manager Permenus Riungu told the Business Daily in an interview.
The move from constructing to management of hotels will see the hotel chain sell 24 tented camps that are a part of its portfolio, for Sh8 million each. The hotelier is also selling 16 0.4 acre plots at Sh4.5 million each and 26 cottages for Sh10 million each at its Man Eaters development.
Its previous developments include Acacia Lodge Suits, a 24 apartment complex that sits on an 11-acre piece of land and is a part of a bigger 60-acre development that houses other lodges and tents that form the hotel’s portfolio.
The hotelier joins the list of local and international chains that are expanding their business by managing facilities developed by other investors. Tamarind Group recently signed five deals to manage hotels, suites and restaurants for local investors who are building facilities in various counties.
Indian hotel management chain Sarovar Hotels & Resorts signed a deal last June to manage a 144-room, four-star hotel in Embakasi, Nairobi, that is being put up by businessman Kiran Patel. Kempinski manages the Villa Rosa Kempinski for Simba Colt Motors.
Investment in the hotel industry has been on the rise and is also attracting major hotel chains.
“Marriott plans a new hotel in Nairobi in 2015 and Hilton is set to open two hotels in Nairobi in the next few years. Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Lonrho Hotels are other international hotel brands planning to expand in Nairobi,” says financial consultancy firm PwC in their Hospitality Outlook: 2014-2018 report, which says that between this year and 2015 the number of hotel rooms will increase marginally from 17,900 to 18,200.