Sheraton has announced plans to open a 172-room airport hotel near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi this year a move set to introduce a shift in the tourism and hospitality industry in the country.
The high-end hotel in Kenya is set to be constructed by global hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide,
The announcement by Sheraton comes barely 6-months after Four Points by Sheraton opened its doors in Hurlingham following the rebranding of the hotel previously managed under the Best Western Premier brand.
The hotel will be located near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, targeting travelers to and from Kenya. The target clientele for the airport hotels are both transiting leisure travelers and international business travelers.
Other revenue streams would be expected from airlines seeking to accommodate airline crews and distraught passengers following flight delays, reschedules or cancelled journeys.
The Four Points airport hotel is owned by Kanari Ltd, Bluesky Investments Ltd, which are family businesses, and Airstar Ltd, each owning 33.3 percent.
This will be the second operational airport hotel in Kenya, which is in addition to the 144-room Lazizi Premiere Hotel, which started operations last month.
The growth opportunity for such hotels is heavily anchored on GDP growth and a steady increase in international arrivals.
Last year, the number of tourist arrivals experienced a rebound, expanding by 13.5 percent from 1.18 million in 2015 to 1.34 million tourists in 2016.
Economic analysts foresee continued improvement especially in business tourism given that Kenya has continued to be the preferred conference destination in the larger East African region.
Nairobi has well balanced hotel demand of international and domestic corporate, government, NGO, diplomatic and international leisure.
According to the Nairobi Hotel Market outlook by Property Wheel, the Current quality hotel supply in Nairobi is provided by 54 sizeable hotels with a total of 6,936 rooms. Branded supply makes up 43 percent of this with more global brands entering the market. A high level of new supply of 4,354 keys is due to enter the market between 2016-2020 creating oversupply.
Nairobi has seen high quality new supply enter the market during the past five years including the Kempinski Villa Rosa, Crowne Plaza, Radisson Blu among others.