PrideInn Group has unveiled a Sh3.1 billion Hotel and Convention Centre at Shanzu, putting conference tourism in Mombasa to a higher level.
The opening of PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort, Convention Centre and Spa, brings the number of hotels operated by PrideInn Group in Mombasa and Nairobi to seven.
Other hotels include Pride Express Nyali, PrideInn Hotel Mombasa, Pride Express Diani, PrideInn Hotel Raphta, PrideInn Hotel Westlands and PrideInn Suites Lantana.
PrideInn Group Managing Director, Hasnain Noorani, said the new Hotel and Convention Centre has 300 rooms with 600-bed capacity.
He added that the Resort has conference facilities with a sitting capacity of 2,500 people, making it ideal for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).
Mr Noorani said the investment has created 400 jobs and market for manufactured goods, agricultural and livestock products, fish among other commodities.
“We invested heavily in constructing more than 10 conference rooms and banquet centre in Mombasa for the destination to benefit more from the lucrative MICE sub sector,” he said.
Other amenities offered by the Hotel include an aqua theme park, a jungle cinema, bars, restaurants, and swimming pools.
Speaking during the official opening of the Hotel and Convention Centre at Shanzu in Mombasa last Friday, Mr Noorani revealed that the property would host the SKAL World Congress in 2018.
“We are also bidding for 10 more international conventions and meetings as part of efforts to promote Mombasa as a conference hub,” he added.
The PrideInn boss said the diversification of Mombasa from a beach destination to a MICE hub would bring more visitors and address the challenge of low tourist season.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, who officially opened the Resort, commended the PrideInn Group for the Sh3.1 billion investment, saying it would uplift tourism in Mombasa County.
Over the years, Mr Balala said Mombasa has been missing opportunities of hosting international conventions since it lacked a large conference facility.
“I am happy that Mombasa now has a big Convention Centre which can host 2,500 participants, creating opportunities for the region to attract global meetings,” he said.
Mr Balala said hotels at the Coast will be busy throughout the year if they combine the popular beach product with conference tourism.
Last year, he added, Kenyan won a bid to host the SKAL World Congress 2018 in which it will be held at PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort.
He called on investors across the Coast region to upgrade their facilities for them to attract more visitors.
On marketing, Mr Balala said his Ministry would focus on promoting domestic and regional tourism to cushion the sector against low arrivals from overseas markets during low season.
The Cabinet Secretary said tourism was on recovery after international tourist arrivals to the country grew by 17 per cent last year.
He added that the improvement was bolstered by a surge in international arrivals from the US and emerging markets of India and China.