KEPSA, through the Foundation, participated in the 5th Annual Hoteliers Summit, Africa – Sub Sahara that took place on 17th and 18th May, 2018 at the Movenpick Hotel and Residences, Nairobi. The Summit’s theme was “Redefining African Hospitality”.
The aim of the summit revolved on how to transform Africa into a visible tourism destination with investment potential by providing major buyers and sellers of the hospitality industry providing a platform to discuss projects that will help build a richer, better Sub-Saharan Africa.
The event was opened by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala. In his remarks he stated that there is need to redefine hospitality in Kenya and Africa at large, noting that there is a new clientele – The Millennials, who want an experience and are about having fun thus emphasizing that tourism can no longer only be about the product but also has to be about the experience. While pledging his support, he called on investors and hoteliers to come up with innovative ideas that will make Nairobi a buzzing city and enhance the Kenyan experience.
Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) CEO, Ms. Susan Ongalo joined a panel with her East African counterparts to discuss ‘Emerging Paradigm Shift – The African Dream’. She echoed the sentiments of the CS in that in addition to the traditional Safari product, Kenya is looking to add on other products and activities that will see opening up of other counties to tourism and give visitors an experience.
On emerging tourism opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Arch. Lee Karuri, Chairman of KEPSA Foundation and Executive Chair of Resorts and Cities, highlighted that Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, the political environment and security is relatively stable hence the future is great for tourism. He noted that Africans are travelling more in Africa for tourism creating a strong domestic Pan- African market. He concluded by stating that Sub-Saharan Africa is the new business frontier for investment in Africa.
The event brought together leaders from around the continent that included C-suite investors, Government officials, high net worth individuals, hotel owners & developers, hotel operators, architects, interior designers, project management consultants, professionals, advisory specialists and sustainability experts to promote business consultations and best practices in order to build sustainable partnerships.
The next Hotelier Summit will be held in October 2018 in Morroco – North Africa.