Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has opened two international hotels and laid the foundation stone for a skyscraper as the country seeks to boost tourism.
Kenyatta laid the foundation stone of The Pinnacle (formerly Hass Towers), the new Nairobi mixed-use development set to become Africa’s tallest building.
The Pinnacle will be home to a new 45-storey Hilton, the latest upscale, luxury hotel to grace Nairobi’s fast growing financial district of Upper Hill, and the only one of its kind in Kenya.
The Pinnacle will include 42 floors of residential apartments, 20 floors of Grade A offices, a 5-storey modern mall, and three floors of underground parking, ready to meet the growing demand from business travellers and tourists.
The building will also include the highest viewing gallery in Africa, spread across two floors at the top of the 300 m/70 storey tall tower.
Kenyatta pointed out that the massive investment is a clear demonstration that Kenya’s tourism is moving towards full recovery, after going through a depressed period.
He assured of his administration’s commitment to taking extra measures to reposition the sector and reclaim its position as the country’s top earner as was in the past.
He pointed out that, in light of the contribution tourism has made to the country’s economy and livelihoods of citizens, his government has put in place incentives to boost the sector.
The two hotels are the Park Inn in Westlands managed by Radisson Hotel and Lazizi Premier, which is the first luxurious airport hotel in Kenya.
Kenyatta also assured investors of his government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment to ensure the flow of investment into the country.
“We shall endeavour to partner with the private sector to create jobs for the youth. What we want is jobs for our people,” said Kenyatta when he opened the Park Inn Hotel in Nairobi.
Measures taken by the Kenyan government to boost tourism include VAT exemption for park fees, reduction in park entry fees and VAT exemption for commission of the tour operators.
Kenyatta said the government has also introduced Charter Incentive Programme and Air Passengers subsidy, Tourism Recovery Fund and establishment of a tourism promotion fund, among others.
The president expressed gratitude that the measures taken are now bearing fruit as the sector is now on the recovery path.