Hospitality Project Planning & Financing, Conforming to sustainability Standards
Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC), Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) and UN-Habitat have today, entered into a partnership with Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) to sensitize the Architects and Interior designers on the best hospitality architecture practices with a view of conforming to sustainable standards, hospitality project planning principles and financing.  
Kenya’s hospitality industry is on an upward growth trajectory and has evolved into a modern & diverse destination offering a variety of travel experiences and cityscapes with rich, authentic wildlife, cultural and nature experiences within easy reach. Travel & Tourism Investment in 2017 was KE84.9bn, 5.7% of total investment (USD820.1mn). It is expected to rise by 7.1% in 2018, and rise by 4.4% pa over the next ten years to KE139.3bn (USD1, 345.9mn) in 2028, 5.5% of total (WTTC 2018). 
TFC is a specialized Development Financial Institution (DFI) with the mandate of facilitating and providing affordable Development Funding for long-term investment in Kenya’s Tourism Industry and has continued to provide Project and Loan Funding to prospective investors besides offering Business and Investment Advisory Services. TFC is tasked by Vision 2030 to develop 65,000 beds by 2030. It is envisaged, this will be achieved through credit funding to potential investors, rehabilitation and upgrading of existing lodging facilities and investing in new star rated hotels.
Nowadays, modern hotel designs are more bold, colorful and imaginative. Innovative hotels have added full creations as well as glamour into them, giving travelers and holiday makers new choices. Besides a good exterior designing, architects should pay more attention to design of interior spaces.
Speaking at the breakfast meeting in Nairobi, Managing Director, Tourism Finance Corporation Orumoi Jonah said: “Architecture stands out as leading actor since it not only facilitates investments, synthesizes the requirements of comfort and entertainment or organizes activities, technologies and spaces, but also creates identities and produces the imagery and iconography associated with branding of the tourism investors.”
Architects need to be assertive in promoting design values, intelligent in understanding and interpreting brand values, and maintaining design standards as outlined in the tourism regulatory authority regulations.
Tourism Regulatory Authority is a key stakeholder in regulation of the Tourism Sector and is entitled to developing regulations, standards and guidelines that are necessary in ensuring that an-all round quality service delivery in the Tourism Sector is achieved.
It is worth noting that large hotel chains have made Kenya their home, making us a key destination for leisure and business travelers. This poses a good challenge for our architects who should seek a positive, lasting image via their designs. This, coupled with sustainable building strategies and sound financial planning will make Kenya a preferred destination by many tourists not only in Africa, but also globally.
Sustainable tourism development should meet the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. The MoU between TFC and UN Habitat seeks to promote energy efficiencies and mainstream green building principles during design for new hotels as well as retrofitting existing hotels in Kenya.
The hotel industry constitutes one of the most energy- and resource-intensive branches of the tourist industry. Substantial quantities of energy are consumed in providing comfort and services to guests, many of who are accustomed to, and willing to pay for exclusive amenities, treatment and entertainment. 
Speaking at the breakfast meeting, Chief, Urban Energy Unit at UN-Habitat Dr. Vincent Kitio said: “Major energy savings can be achieved when the concepts of energy efficiency and resource conservation are accounted for already when planning and designing a hotel facility”.
A wholesome evaluation of the sustainability of specific site needs to integrate considerations from the domain of land planning, appropriate site selection and site planning, design and operations.  Sustainable tourism, including the sustainable use of energy and other resources in the hotel sector can only be successfully developed and pursued in close cooperation between all stakeholders involved, at the planning and design stage. Maximizing energy efficiency, as well as the use of renewable energy resources and technologies in hotel facilities is a crucial step towards achieving this goal.  Climate responsive architecture is key towards mainstreaming of energy and resource efficiency in building.