Investment firm Cytonn Management Plc has ventured into the hospitality industry with the launch of its first serviced apartment complex in the Westlands division of Nairobi County.
According to the firm, the complex is known as CySuites Apartment Hotel, which offers a 32 two-bedroom apartment, 6 one-bedroom apartment and 2 pent-houses.
” It is such a quality of serviced apartments that commands a very strong rental yield, which the company hopes to have a targeted return of 20 percent annually,” says Cytonn.
The company defines a serviced apartment as one that is not only fully furnished, but is also available for both short-term and long-term stays.
Furthermore, the company says that such apartments are capable of providing other forms of services within the stipulated rental price, such as amenities for daily use and housekeeping.
During the launch of CySuites, the Chief Executive Officer of Cytonn, Mr Edwin Dande, further adds:
“As one among the many respectable investment firms in the country , our differentiation factor is that our investments are led by research and we are now eyeing investments in Karen, and also Kiambu County.”
Serviced apartments have become the global trend, with examples such as Malaysian property developer, UEM Sunrise, whose apartments include the Aurora Melbourne Central; as well as the Belvedere All Suite apartments in China’s Shanghai municipality.
According to the 9th Annual Edition of the Hospitality Industry PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC ) report, the hotel industry has recorded a growth of available rooms by 5.2 percent, to 20,100, from 19,000 in 2017.
In a commentary by Mr Bob Kamani, the Managing Director of Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa published in the Daily Nation July 17th, 2019, one of the challenges facing the industry, is the need to invest in more skilled talent into the sector, which can in turn lead to more productivity, other than the increase of hotel rooms.
While the hospitality industry in Kenya is a major income earner, gaining the country the nation revenue of $1.2 billion, as of two years ago, it continues to face other challenges, such as high taxation rates.
According to the Hotels Kenya Report, the sector has instances of incurring a 16 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) statutory to businesses, inclusive of permits such as business and advertising costs.
While the previous target of terror attack from the Al Shabaab militants has been churches, hotels have also come in as part of the aim.
For instance, in early January, the DustitD2 Hotel Kshs 5 million terror-attack suffered from the same raid, which left 21 people dead, states a report from the United Nations (UN) released this month.
Paradise Hotel, an establishment owned by an Israeli proprieter in Kikambala, Coast Province is another victim.
In 2002, Al Qaeda suicide bombers, attacked the Hotel, with preparations having started a year earlier, which left 15 victims dead.
Investigators revealed that the same terrorists had been responsible for the bombing of the United States embassy bombings in East Africa, back in 1998.
Furthermore, on November 21st, the Managing Director of PrideInn Group of Hotels, Mr Hasnain Noorani, further told the media that there is need for the Kenyan government to upgrade the state of the Nairobi-based airport through renovations, Wilson, as it is key in receiving local and international tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism anticipates that there will be the number of global tourists will rise to 2.2 million by the end of the year, with majority of the visitors coming in from the United States of America (USA).
This is an additional increase from the 2, 025, 206 million visitors, which had been recorded by the Ministry last year.
Data from the Tourism Research Institute, as cited by the media, further shows that the number of tourists coming in from the USA has grown by 8.3 percent by September 2019, to stand at 188,933.
Hospitality stakeholders, such as the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers, have recently expressed pessimism that hotels bookings at the Coast might go down because of reduced incomes.
Hotel bookings between November and December, have reduced by between 70 to 80 percent, states local media, though there were up by 90 percent, as of 2018.
Between 15th and 20th of November, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC), Ms Nana Gecaga had anticipated that the IBMT World, a worldwide event, which had gone to Spain this month, would market the country as a destination for conferences. There are, however, 15,000 players in the same industry.