Revenue streams for hotels and entire hospitality industry is no longer dominated by accommodation and what the kitchen has to offer but rather from a new cash cow – the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism segment.
The trend has not spared Uganda where, according to industry insiders, hotels are making a lot of money from hosting local and international meetings. And to meet the demand hotels are investing in exquisite and luxury conference halls to make guest as comfortable as possible.
One such hotel that has mastered the art of organizing top notch conferences is Speke Resort & Conference Centre in Munyonyo. The Resort has been hosting conferences since 2001. It boasts of 3 ballrooms, including a 1,000-seat ballroom, 19 indoor and 6 outdoor conference venues.
An extension named Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort was added and it was the place that hosted the 2007 Commonwealth Government Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM), with the Queen of England in attendance. Other high profile meetings have since followed. Speke Resort will yet again host the British royal family in 2020 when the Duke of Edinburgh comes for the International Gold Event.
The Resort has an audio & visual department and can help you record your event with perfection. Guest services are available to provide such amenities as fax, photocopying, Internet and express mail services. The conference rooms are fitted with functional air conditioner, finest furniture, carpets and fittings that are made to deliver utmost comfort and luxury.
The Resort extends this touch of finesse to the accommodation section. From Presidential Suites, Presidential Cottages, Executive Rooms, Superior Rooms, and exquisite villas that are bright, spacious and filled with beautiful views of Lake Victoria, you got it all.
The rooms are charming, dressed in traditional African and modern contemporary designs, furnished with rich natural fabrics and equipped with the latest modern technologies, complimentary high speed Internet for up to four devices and 24-hour services.
The Resort has a modern gym, spa, Olympic size swimming pool, fitness center kid’s center, squash court, boat rides, and horse riding among other amenities. Speke Resort was last year named the best Luxury Lakeside Resort in East Africa at World Luxury Hotel Awards ceremony which took place in Bali, Indonesia.
The Resort routinely wins TripAdvisor and local tourism awards which something that says about the quality of its services and customer care. In March, the Resort once again, and for the fourth time in a row, won the Service and Luxury Business Hotel category at the annual Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards.
Recently during the Africa Now conference, Africa’s 8th richest person - billionaire Strive Masiyiwa awed by the classic beauty of Speke Resort proposed that the luxurious five star hotel resort should be named “the official African Conference Centre.”
Mr. Greg Petzer, the General Manager of the Resort in an interview said they are well aware of the business opportunity that MICE tourism presents to them and the competition at hand and to stay as market leaders, they are constantly upgrading their facilities to stay upto date with world class standards.
Mr. Petzer attributed their success to team work and meeting customer expectations. “We are happy it is paying off in such a manner. We do a lot of training, we invest money, time and effort in the human resource side of our product,” Mr. Petzer stated in an interview.
He said the hotel management works ‘closely with government’ in terms of meeting the guidelines that have been set out for the hotel business throughout East Africa. “We have a lot of repeat guests who stay with us; what I have noticed over the years is that guests rely on our services and the standards when they are traveling.”
Media report indicate that Uganda has seen a steady rise in tourist arrivals from 945,899 in 2010 to 1,322,522 in 2016 translating into a 107% increment in earnings, from $662 million to $1,371 million targets to earn US$2.7bn by 2020.