Thursday, November 24, 2011

Serena adds Tanzanian link to its hotels chain

File | Nation Guests choose delicacies from a buffet laid out at the Movenpick Hotel.

File | Nation Guests choose delicacies from a buffet laid out at the Movenpick Hotel. 

By PAUL WAFULA [email protected]

Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), the operator of the Serena Hotels chain, has bought a five-star hotel in Tanzania.

Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, which will be renamed Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel on December 1, is TPS’s latest acquisition, which adds 230 rooms to its fold.

Mr Mahmud Janmohamed, the TPS Eastern Africa Group managing director, said the acquisition now gives them a presence in Dar es Salaam, while increasing its footprint in the region.

“We have always wanted to have a strong presence across East Africa and this is part of the strategy,” he said.

The managing director added that it is a premier up-market five-star hotel.

He added: “With our Serena portfolio, the hotel will benefit from the group’s regional presence. We can offer a circuit covering Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda.”

Mr Janmohamed declined to reveal the value of the transaction.

Upgrading Nairobi Serena

This comes at a time when the firm has announced a Sh4 billion plan to upgrade the Nairobi Serena hotel.

“The plan is still on course and we are in the tendering stage,” Mr Janmohamed told the Nation on phone.

TPS operates in Kenya, Zanzibar, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda. It also has a presence in northern Tanzania.

TPS Serena Hotels has expanded from four units in the early 1970s to a collection of 25 luxury hotels, resorts, camps and safari lodges, offering accommodation in six countries in Africa — Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and Rwanda, and 10 properties in three countries in Asia — Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Its main shareholder is the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, an international development agency.

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