Tourism in the East African Community is set to witness a robust growth in 2014, a survey conducted by Sabre Travel Network indicates.
According to a report by the global firm, several hotel chains are planning to venture into the East African market in the next few years, which will greatly improve hotel infrastructure across the region.
Speaking at an award ceremony in honour of travel agents in Kenya, Sabre East Africa managing director Nazma Jamal said the region's tourism sector has a huge potential and is poised for a remarkable growth.
This is despite various challenges ranging from insecurity to physical infrastructure like limited accommodation facilities.
Several top global hotel chains including Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Sheraton have lined up several investments in the coming months in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to cash in on the growing demand for accommodation and conference facilities in the region.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, a US hotel chain, plans to open six hotels in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar in the next three years under the Sheraton franchise. Sheraton's project in Rwanda is also at an advanced stage.
"We see a growth of 7 per cent and above in the coming year, which could accelerate to over 10 per cent if the necessary infrastructure and incentives are put in place by the respective governments," said Ms. Jamal.
She said East Africa has a huge potential such as beautiful coastlines in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar to Uganda's and Rwanda's mountain gorillas, providing great tourism opportunities.
SOURCE; 4-traders, www.4-traders.com