• Sun. Jun 11th, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | International hotel chains are reviving their plans to open properties in Uganda.

In 2020, the International Conference Association ranked Uganda the sixth most popular destination in Africa for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE). This was geared towards attracting investment in Uganda from international hotel brands.

Jean Byamugisha, chief executive of the Uganda Hotel Owner’s Association (UHOA), said, “At least five international hotel brands wanted to open new facilities in the country between 2020 and 2022, but the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic has derailed those plans. Most of these new facilities in Kampala would be open by now if it wasn’t for the Coronavirus pandemic.” 

The notable brands planning to open new hotels in Uganda are Golden Tulip, Hilton International, Marriot International, Onomo Hotels, and Radisson Blu.

Hilton Hotel is currently constructing a 244 room hotel in Nakasero, which was slated to open this year but was postponed. Its new opening date is yet to be confirmed. 

The pandemic has also held up Marriot International’s Four Points by Sheraton facility construction in Kololo. The new 142 room facility would be Marriot’s fifth undertaking in Uganda, after Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Protea Hotel by Marriot Kampala, Protea Hotel by Marriot Entebbe, and Naguru Skyz Hotel.

Likewise, Radisson Blu’s plans to debut facilities in Kampala were put on hold indefinitely because of COVID-19. At the end of 2020, the brand was in the last stages of buying a facility in Kampala.

While Onomo Hotels also had their plans of opening a property in Kampala suspended. Onomo wants to operate at least 3,700 rooms all over Africa by 2022. It currently has hotels in Rwanda, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, South Africa, Morocco, Tanzania, Mozambique, Senegal, Guinea, Togo, and Cameroon.

COVID-19 hit Uganda’s tourism sector hard, especially high-end hotels since their earnings depend on international visitors. 

The pandemic reduced foreign travellers by 69.3%, from 1,542,620 visitors in 2019 to 473,085 visitors. Therefore, reducing Uganda’s tourism revenues by 73%, from US$1.6 billion to US$500 million. 

This downward trend in Uganda’s tourism revenues affected the economy, as for many years, the tourism sector had brought in most Uganda’s foreign exchange revenue.


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