One of the South African Protea Hotels
Protea Hospitality Group, a South African company which owns Protea Hotels has announced plans to expand to Rwanda.
The group made the announcement recently in South African where it is based and owns a string of hotels which range from urban hotels to country retreats.
The Hotel which will be situated in Kigali’s up market suburb of Nyarutarama will be the first of the Protea Hotels in East Africa.
According to the Protea Hospitality Group Marketing and Advertising Manager, Nicholas Barenblatt the 25 bedroom hotel is expected to open early next year.
Protea comes into Rwanda’s hospitality sector finding other regional and global giants like Serena Hotels, upcoming Marriott, Park Inn by Radisson and Kempinski Hotels among others.
Protea Hotel Kigali will provide standard rooms including 8 two-bedroom units specifically for the long-stay market. It will also have a restaurant, bar, gym and swimming pool, as well as two executive boardrooms for meetings and conferences on site.
The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) believes that the presence of a South African hotel management company will no doubt be hugely beneficial to attract more South African visitors.
Rica Rwigamba, Head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB says government is working to ensure visitors to Rwanda get value for money and unparalleled tourism experiences through attracting investors such as Protea Hospitality Group.
“In addition, visitor safety and security in Rwanda’s parks and other tourist destinations continue to be a priority,” Rwigamba added.
Rwigamba pointed out that investments in the sector have been boosted by the entry of Park Inn by Radisson and Protea Hotels, who have both signed agreements to run their establishments which will be operational by early 2014.
RDB says that Rwanda has so far collected $142.5 million in tourism revenues and registered 664,729 visitors in the first semester of 2013. This shows an increase of 11 percent and 14 percent respectively compared to the same period in 2012.