US hotel giant Wyndham to build golf resort in Kenya

 Amboseli National Park
A section of the Amboseli National Park. PHOTO/FILE
Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company, plans to build a high-end outlet – Wyndham Amboseli Golf Resort and Spa – near the Amboseli National Park as battle for high-end tourists intensifies.

The New Jersey-based group that boasts 7,260 hotels and about 618,100 rooms in 66 countries is set to build a 290-room resort – complete with an 18-hole championship golf course, conference centre and spa – some 160km from Nairobi at the edge of Kenya’s second most popular national park.

In addition to the 18-hole golf course, Wyndham Amboseli Golf Resort, will include what is expected to be Kenya’s first executive 9-hole course, designed for golfers with limited time.

The golf resort, which is scheduled to open by 2017, is part of Wyndham’s strategic plan to increase its footprint in Africa. The group recently announced its intention to set up a four-star hotel in Nairobi’s Westlands area targeting business travellers.

Bani Haddad, the company’s regional vice-president for the Middle East and Africa, said the move has been informed by the rising demand for internationally renowned brands in the local tourism industry.

“As Kenya’s economy continues to grow, demand continues to increase for internationally renowned, world-class brands in virtually all segments, from budget through to up-scale and extended stay,” he said.

Kenya has earned its mark in the global hospitality map with at least a dozen new hotel brands set to open shop in the coming months as global chains tap into the growing high-end tourism market.

The country was ranked the fifth most attractive destination in Africa for international hotel chains in the 2013 Africa Pipeline Survey by W Hospitality, a sector advisory group.