A new Radisson Blu hotel was opened in the Kenyan capital at the end of 2015. Finnfund is one of the financiers of the real estate company Elgon Road Developments responsible for building the hotel in Nairobi’s Upper Hill business district.
Tourism is an important source of employment in developing countries such as Kenya. The new Radisson Blu hotel employs about 350 local people. The hotel also provides indirect demand for services and products from the local community, and creates jobs for subcontractors and small entrepreneurs in the area.
Permanent employment and a responsible employer are important. Globally, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group operates more than 1300 hotels in 100 countries. Each hotel has an action plan for responsible business, covering matters like health and safety, continuous training, environmental protection and contributions to the local communities.
Finnfund has been working with The Rezidor Hotel Group since 2005. In recent years the hotel group has expanded to sub-Saharan Africa and also established a separate company, Afrinord Hotel Investments, together with Nordic development finance institutions. So far Afrinord has invested in five hotel projects with Rezidor in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone.
Both business travellers and tourists need places to stay. Hotels provide much needed employment in poor countries that helps uplift the quality of life of local residents and improve the environment. Hotels also offer many jobs for women.
The hotel industry can also offer meaningful jobs to people that are not so privileged in life, and are otherwise considered hard to employ by other industries. One good example is the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, where one-third of employees have hearing disabilities. Finnfund is one of the financiers of this hotel which opened its doors in 2014.