Nairobi leads the pack for having the lowest hotel occupancy among African cities

The Kenyan capital's occupancy performance was the weakest of the 14 cities assessed

The Kenyan capital's occupancy performance was the weakest of the 14 cities assessed with a decline of 11.1 per cent despite a rise in Kenya’s total bed space thanks to new establishments.

The cities surveyed included Addis Ababa, Accra, Cape Town, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Lusaka, Monrovia, Gaborone and Windhoek.

Lagos and Accra led the pack on the back of a gradual economic recovery in their respective countries (Nigeria and Ghana) that saw them benefit from increased business demand.

Election jitters

There was high growth in new supply in Nairobi with an 8.7 per cent increase in rooms available despite the political uncertainties witnessed during last year's General election.

Supply grew by 478 rooms of which 334 were internationally branded (Four Points Sheraton, Park Inn),” notes the study.

According to the HTI study, Dar es Salaam followed Nairobi with a decline in occupancy of nine per cent.

Data from the Tourism Ministry indicates that the contribution of visitor arrivals from East Africa helped grow Kenya’s overall tourism arrivals to 1.47 million last year, up from 1.34 million in 2016.

New hotels are expected to open in Kenya over the next four years adding 2,400 rooms and expanding the hotel capacity by 13 percent, according to a report by consultancy firm PwC.

The firm estimates the number of available rooms to increase from 18,600 in 2016 to 21,000 in 2021, a 2.5pc compound annual increase.

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