(eTN) – When top executives from leading global hotel chains meet in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in September, they will discuss the current development of hotel and accommodation establishments in Africa, including small but luxury tourist facilities that are sprouting up in Tanzania’s key tourist sites.
Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge is one among the medium but luxury tourist accommodation facilities that has been developed in a pure African village on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent.
Unlike European, American, or Asian destinations, Africa is extremely lacking adequate tourist facilities in most key tourist sites, as well as villages neighboring these sites, making it difficult to raise the tourism profile in those places.
Located at a pure African village, far from town, the 40-room Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge is a case study for investors on hotel and accommodation establishments in Africa by its ideal location where locals share tourist amenities, while the lodge’s management has been working around the clock to protect the environmentally-friendly atmosphere.
Unlike most other tourist accommodation facilities in Africa, which are located far from villages and local communities, Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge is located rightly in an African village dating back about 300 years. This lodge is a pioneer and sets a good example of tourist service facilities springing up in villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro and where local people share the income generated at the lodge with its investor.
Three decades ago, the Chagga people who reside on Mount Kilimanjaro’s eco-system depended on coffee for over 95 percent of their livelihood, but the crop is no longer a bread earner as a result of poor agricultural and marketing polices in Tanzania.
The only option the residents are looking at is to generate income from tourism through this highest mountain in Africa. Modern tourist lodges are springing up in villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to provide accommodation and recreational services to the increasing number of mountain climbers, similarly, raising the living standards of the locals.
Development of medium-sized lodges and hotels in villages surrounding the mountain is a new kind of tourist investments outside the towns, cities, and the wildlife parks in Tanzania. Coffee and banana farms, with the rich history of the people, are the other tourist products attracting visitors to visit Mount Kilimanjaro’s foothills.
Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge stands on top of a dead parasite cone where tourists get clear morning and evening views of this majestic mountain, amid coffee and banana farms.
It occupies a village land area planted with coffee, bananas, indigenous trees, mountain flowers, and orchids. Visitors booked at the lodge get their time to practice an African style of farming and gardening, and sometimes join with the locals in cultural and farming activities in the village.
The lodge has been constructed in 24 clusters, and the main building is an old colonial building refurbished to accommodate the reception and administrative office, bar, restaurant, and computer and Internet rooms.
“The hidden history of Mount Kilimanjaro is the best brand in promoting this lodge,” its investor, Mr. Joachim Minde, said.
Development of small-sized hotels and luxury lodges in Africa would also raise tourism and accommodation facilities investment profiles as well, raising incomes of both the local communities and investors, said Mr. Minde, who is also the Managing Director of a successful Laitolya Tours and Safaris in Tanzania.
Africa lacks big investments in accommodation establishments, a scenario which make this tourist-rich continent lacking in tourism development as compared to other continents. Observers are looking to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) to deliberate the best options that will help Africa raise its hotel investment profile.
The AHIF is to be held at the InterContinental Hotel on September 25-26th, with the Forum’s agenda focusing on how to capitalize long-term on the opportunities presented by Africa, and strategies to overcome the challenges.
AHIF is organized by Bench Events, which produces several top-level hotel conferences around the world. It moves to a different African city every year, showcasing high-growth destinations across the continent. Last year, the forum was held in Morocco, attracting more than 350 delegates from 34 countries.