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Kenya’s hospitality industry has been eager to capitalize on the favorable tourism outlook and the growth of the middle class in the recent few decades.
Over 500 decent hotels exist in the country and the figures are growing rapidly (The Republic of Kenya blog, 2014). With East African economies among the fastest growing in the world, and Kenya’s own GDP growing at a 5% clip, the Kenyan middle class is expected to continue rising, bringing Kenya ever closer to its goal of becoming a middle-income nation by 2030 (African Development Bank, 2011). While there are numerous foreign and locally owned hotels and restaurants in Kenya, this has been promoted further by Chinese multi-national companies that have become active in Kenya in the sectors of food production, engineering and construction, communication, telecommunications, aviation and motor vehicle manufacturing. “The potential is even higher as the sector is internationally projected to be a leading future international service industry where Africa ranks 4th in the market share with approximated growth rate of over five percent (Ministry of Tourism PS Solitei, 2014). According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) (2014), hospitality industry is responsible for 14% of GDP and 12% of total employment. It is also a sector that WTTC predicts will continue to grow at 3.7% per annum for the next decade. This potential was also discovered by CAP YEI market research.