Protea Hotels in African expansion drive
12 July 2012
South Africa's Protea Hospitality Group has signed an agreement for the construction of its fourth hotel in Uganda, as part of a US$130-million African expansion drive including new builds and management acquisitions in Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia this year.
"This is Africa's time," group CEO Arthur Gillis said in a statement last week. "Never before has the continent offered so much in terms of political stability and economic growth."
According to Business Day newspaper, Protea's plans to build or acquire 10 further hotels in Africa will make it the continent's biggest hospitality investor this year.
The new hotel will be constructed in Hoima, in the centre of the Albertine Rift Valley oil exploration, extraction and processing region of Uganda. The Protea Hotel Kampala and Protea Hotel Entebbe are already open, while the Protea Hotel Mbale joined the company's portfolio on 1 July.
The new, 80-room hotel will have six conference facilities capable of hosting 300 delegates, two restaurants, a swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and stream room, and disabled access to the property. Construction will begin in the third quarter and is expected to take 24 months to complete.
Protea Hotels Uganda MD Stuart Cook said the company's rapid expansion in Uganda was largely being driven by corporate travel "because there is a lot of economic growth within the country. There are four Protea Hotels now, but I certainly don’t expect this to be the last expansion announcement in the medium term," Cook said.
Gillis said the company was expanding both its Protea Hotels and African Pride Hotels brands into Africa "because there is demand for brands that are strong and trustworthy that offer exceptional guest service.
"It's exciting times for the continent, exciting times for hospitality as an industry here, and especially exciting for the Protea Hospitality Group as we further cement our position as Africa's largest and leading hotel group."