Acacia hotel’s state of the art Valentines treat for only Sh93

Where on earth do you get treated to a date for Sh93? Let alone a measly meal in the estate, what in this country is worth that much? Two loaves of bread, perhaps?

Well, this may sound unbelievable but the same hotel that threw the most expensive Valentine’s Day lovers offer is doing the opposite this year. You don’t need Sh500,000 to get the most exclusive, romantic treat this season. You only need Sh93, and so too in bonus points to, dine with the high and mighty at Acacia Premier Hotel, Kisumu’s most luxurious hotel, come Valentine’s Day.
It is a two-night package for Pulsers that has been tailor made for lucky winners and that will come complete with lavish accommodation in superior suites, dinner by a special chef and luxurious boat rides among other goodies already bundled in the gift pack.
The hotel that made an offer to lovers last year to compete for its presidential suite, a Sh500,000 offer whose package included a butler, private chef, dinner serenade, champagne treat and Jacuzzi moments at the rooftop spot, 40 bouquets of flowers, massage treatments and luxury diamond and sapphire jewellery (all valued at Sh1 million) is inviting lovers to participate in a competition that will see the lucky ones win the offer of a lifetime.
“We are back with an amazing 2017 Valentines campaign, which is probably the most unbelievable and cheapest deal you will ever hear about. For only Sh93, lucky couples will enjoy a romantic Valentines night at Acacia Premier hotel. For Sh93, a couple will get a superior lake-facing room decorated with roses, a bottle of wine, dinner at the Aqua bar and a boat trip of Lake Victoria among other offers,” a press statement from the hotel read in part.

“The campaign dubbed #93ReasonsToLove is a digital one where one can submit their 93 reasons to love on poem. The lucky couples will enjoy the Sh93 offer,” the hotel promised. When Pulse reached out to the Acacia Premier manager Duncan Mwangi as to how they had arrived at Sh93 he said:

“Well, the hotel has Sh93 rooms and this Valentines we chose to appreciate our customers who have been keeping us going. In fact, besides the winners, the hotel will also have a night of romance where other customers will enjoy dinner and accommodation at a highly discounted rate.”
“Like I have said before, at Acacia we make ordinary days extraordinary and we want to illustrate that sentiment through our special Valentine’s Day celebrations for guest,” said Mwangi.

This is not the first Valentines shocker a local hotel is throwing. Two years ago, Villa Rosa Kempinski pulled a Sh2.4 million one night Presidential suite Valentines offer that attracted about 30 clients.

Article courtesy of SDE – http://www.sde.co.ke/pulse/article/2001227420/acacia-hotel-s-state-of-the-art-valentines-treat-for-only-sh93

To develop tourism, let’s build local before going global

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Kenya’s economy will grow by 6 per cent this year. This is double the anticipated rate of growth for sub–Saharan Africa. Part of the IMF’s optimism is based on expectations of a recovery in tourism.
The fact, however, is that international visitor arrivals in 2015 were 17 per cent lower than in 2014. Tourism has always been looked at as a vehicle for economic growth and job creation all over the world. The sector is directly or indirectly responsible for 8.8 per cent of the world’s jobs. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates 3.8 million jobs could be created by the tourism industry in sub-Saharan Africa over the next 10 years. When we look at the factors that affect the ability to grow tourism through international visitors, we realise very quickly that issues like terrorism, political unrest and safety affect growth tremendously. Egypt and Mombasa are good examples of this.

But we have a growing middle class and amazing tourist sites all over this country that have not been marketed. I was driving from Eldoret to Kisumu a few days ago and went through the winding roads through the Nandi Hills, and I must say I was in awe of the lushness and the breath-taking scenery I witnessed. Driving back to Nairobi, I decided to take the Bomet-Narok route and went through more beautiful country through the heart of the Rift Valley. We take this beautiful country for granted, but if we stopped to ‘smell the roses’, we would realise there is so much to see and experience within our own boundaries. These unique areas all over the country give us the perfect opportunity to promote local tourism. We are beginning to see a start in this process, with counties promoting their regions and the Government promoting local tourism. There is a definite opportunity here for more aggressive campaigns, coupled with support to develop specific areas. This means improved roads for access, incentives for private business to invest in hotels and attractions, improved access to amenities like water, electricity and security, and less red tape to facilitate development. I am not much of a social media buff, but when I look at how savvy and comfortable many Kenyans are with these platforms, I cannot help but think that we have an amazing opportunity to market local tourism online. I bumped into a campaign christened #TwendeUshago (Let’s go upcountry), driven by Magical Kenya.
I was born in Kisumu and lived abroad for a long time. I must say, growing up, I never appreciated what Kisumu had to offer. If you have been to this city, you know the beauty of the lake and the breath-taking sunsets are unparalleled. Take a boat ride and watch the kingfisher hover over the water, see local fisherman in their canoes pulling in their nets, and if you are lucky, watch hippos come out of the water to graze.

Drive out of the city about eight kilometres and you can actually stand on the Equator. You can hike in the Kakamega Forest and visit neighbouring islands like Rusinga. There are areas in Western Kenya where you can go skydiving and water skiing. Extra income The hospitality industry has also grown, with world-class facilities and outstanding service and food available. These amenities bring a lot of benefits to counties and local residents in terms of job creation, extra tourism income and the multiplier effect of giving business to all other sectors in industry, from the supply chain to transportation. With a steadily growing middle class, and marketing to Kenyans and the region, the domestic tourism sector can grow and, if done right, has the potential to equal the income brought in through international tourism. However, this can only happen if county governments, the national government and the private sector all work hand in hand to promote growth across our beautiful county.
Tujenge Kenya pamoja. The writer is a career hospitality development executive and is currently leading the hospitality division at Simba Corporation.

Hospitality as a catalyst to growth

Six years ago, I came back home after living in the USA for 40 years to take over the hospitality portfolio for Simba Corporation.
At the time, the government was yet to implement a ranking system for hotels and there were a number of facilities claiming to be at a star level that was not representative.
Nairobi at the time only had two or three hotels that arguably met reasonable standards. They were doing well, but they did not have the same standards as those of the Western world.
Over the past six years, Kenya has gone through a transformation. The Constitution now gives the incentive to every governor to improve the economic climate in his county.
In East Africa, Kenya is the prime location for multinationals, governmental organisations, embassies, and NGOs operating in the region. With an amazing, talented, educated employee pool and a natural hospitable nature, we are best matched for this business.
According to the World Bank, Kenya is set to become one of the top five fastest-growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to M-Pesa, Kenya is on the global map for what is arguably the most innovative mobile solution so far.
The diaspora is pouring billions of shillings annually into the economy, a sign of confidence that the opportunities and growth are here to stay. Living in a global village, we now have a well-travelled population that is experienced on how business is done in the world.
What does all this mean for hospitality? In 2015, Kenya successfully hosted a major hospitality investment conference. The offshoot of this is that major hotel brands in the world now see Kenya as a big player in their Africa strategy. There are now more than 20 new hotels being developed in Nairobi alone. A lot of these will have an international brand name on them and will come with their respective global standards.
In light of the increasing competition and the rate at which international brands are setting foot in the market, the business is no longer for the faint-hearted. Today’s guest has very high expectations because he/she is well travelled and has experienced good service in equally good facilities.
We are pleased that the government is implementing the star rating system used globally. This will ensure that the guest experience is not compromised by overrated facilities.
The World Travel Awards recently voted Kenya the best safari destination in the world, crediting it to our tourism. From the Great Wildebeest Migration, pristine beaches, outstanding golf courses, and a big push towards eco-friendly facilities in our national parks, Kenya is indeed beautiful. We also have a variety of climate conditions that can be marketed for different experiences — Mount Kenya, Lake Victoria, the Equator, and northern Kenya’s semi-desert conditions. We have the potential to be the ideal tourist location in Africa.
Another area of opportunity is corporate, NGO, and government trade. Besides international corporates coming to Kenya for business, we have the ability to attract larger conferences and forums to Nairobi. Last year we hosted the Global Entrepreneurship Summit as well as the World Trade Organisation conference. Corporate conferencing is the new field in hospitality and there is a need for world-class convention centres.
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre has already put us on the map. However, as the industry grows, we need better facilities to position Kenya as a world-class conferencing destination.
Economically, it is worthwhile for the government to take this on as a priority project as the multiplier effect to the economy is huge. Hospitality links to services from nearly all sectors in business — from supply chain to construction, farming, and IT.
Local tourism presents an opportunity for county governments to develop potential tourist sites to cater for the community while appealing to the regional population in Kenya. This would catalyse hotel development in counties as well as create a shift in hotel stay patterns.
All the above cannot happen if we do not improve the way we operate. Infrastructure is still a challenge. Without good roads, steady power, controlled development, a stable environment, ease of entry to do business, and proper planning, we will not progress economically. Kenya has great potential to become a major player in Africa’s growth.
Mr Khamisa leads the hospitality division at Simba Corporation. nazir@simbacolt.com.

Acacia Premier Launch Cocktail Event

The launch of Acacia Premier in Kisumu

Acacia Premier Hotel, officially launched in Kisumu with a colorful and vibrant cocktail event held at the grand ballroom on the 21st of November 2015. The event was attended by partners, supporters and clientele of the hotel, who were treated to an evening of mouth-watering food, signature cocktails and exciting entertainment.  The Honorable Jack Ranguma, Governor of Kisumu County, graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor as well Mama Sarah Obama.

The guests were entertained by none other than the comical Jalang’o and the talented Scott the Violinist, who kept the crowd on their feet all night long!

 

Travel ambassadors to market Kisumu

Nazir Khamisa, Head of Hospitality at Acacia Premier was appointed as the global travel ambassador for Kisumu County by His Excellency, Governor Jack Ranguma. His role as a travel ambassador is to put Kisumu’s socioeconomic agenda on the global scene and sell the county as an investment hub. The implementation of the blueprint will begin in 2015-2016

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma has rolled out an economic blueprint for the county. Ranguma said the project swill address unemployment and underemployment to hasten growth.

He appointed travel ambassadors to put Kisumu’s socioeconomic agenda on the global scene and sell the county as an investment hub. They include novelist Yvonne Owuor (Creative Industries), ICT guru Kenneth Oyola (Technology), songbird Suzanna Owiyo (Culture and Heritage) and science communicator Sheila Ochugboju (Transformative Science and Urban Resilience).

The governor said implementation of the blueprint starts in the 2015-16 financial year.

“We want to place Kisumu on the world map and compare ourselves, not with other counties, but with established cities like Cape Town and Cairo,” Ranguma said.

He spoke on Sunday night at the MV Uhuru Pier in Kisumu. The event was attended by international investors and dignitaries, including Simba Corporation and Microsoft regional manager for East and Southern Africa Louis Otieno.

“Technology-wise, we would like to compare ourselves to Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia,” Ranguma said.

He said the ambassadors will focus on development of technology, finance and fast economic growth.