When planning leisure, conference or business tourism, local and international tourists give special consideration to accommodation, and for a long time, hotels were the common choice.
This is changing as more and more tourists are opting for serviced apartments.
“Hotel rooms have been the most common accommodation option, even though they do not allow much flexibility and are also not very cost-effective. The serviced apartment option however is quickly gaining traction since it offers more flexibility, independence and greater privacy,” says Mr James Mwangi, chief executive officer, Sesme Investments Kenya Ltd, a real estate and tours and travel agency.
Businessman Paul Mugambi agrees. “As an entrepreneur who is always on the move, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms in the various destinations I visit. Though each hotel offers different services, they feel almost the same – I felt more comfortable and at ease when I spent my last business trip last month in a serviced apartment in Mombasa,” he says.
“There is more flexibility in how you use the space, it was easier to get to know the staff beyond the usual hello, and there is more interaction with the other guests since it feels like you’re living in a commune. Generally, the environment feels like home away from home,” adds Mr Mugambi.
It is into this market that Bubbles Cottages are tapping.
Located in Casuarina, Malindi, they have been offering tourists a “home away from home” in fully furnished, cost-effective two-bedroom units with a swimming pool and bar, barbeque and children’s play areas at Sh35,000 a month for short stays of up to six months, and Sh30,000 for long-stays of up to 12 months.
“Compared to hotel rooms that charge per night, serviced apartments offer tourists much more, at an affordable rate,” says Mr Mwangi.
The apartments are housed in three double storey blocks with four apartments each.
“Our guests not only enjoy home-like convenience and affordability, they are right in the middle of the resort town of Malindi, which has excellent private beaches, adequate opportunities for game fishing, and proximity to the pristine reefs within the Malindi Marine National Park,” Mr Mwangi adds.
The Malindi tourist market, one of Kenya’s best in craft shopping, also offers guests variety in Kenyan crafts. Malindi Museum is another tourist attraction site that tourists enjoy visiting, adds Mr Mwangi.
As an investment option, serviced apartments are a real estate opportunity that has a lot of potential.
This sector has been overlooked, with major cities and towns developing hotel rooms that offer short-term hotel stays, or apartments that are for long-term rentals.
Kenya’s leisure, business and conference tourism is vibrant and is experiencing huge investor and corporate interest, and this niche market holds a lot of potential for investors who opt to go that way.
“There are many local and international leisure and even conference tourists who wish to spend their time in a place that feels more like home than a hotel room,” says Mr Mwangi.
“With Kenyan tourism ranked fifth in Sub-Saharan Africa, investing in hotel apartments will provide variety and ready returns, not only from international tourists, but also local tourists and expatriates who want to enjoy freedom in the spaces they use.”
Sounds like a worthwhile investment, doesn’t it?
Source: Daily Nation