The Hilton Garden Inn (HGI) three star hotel project steered United Africa Group is expected to create 120 full time jobs for Namibians while increasing competition for better facilities in the hoteling industry.
Chief Executive Officer of the HGI Willem Mouton who is optimistic about the project, the first of its kind in the country believes it will have a significant contribution to the tourism sector which contributes significantly to national earnings.
“Based on the currently accepted multiplier of 9.2 this means that HGI will have a direct and indirect impact of 1104 lives of Namibians. In addition, we will also accommodate more tourists and business travellers which will have a direct benefit to the economy,” he says,
The planned Inn also has potential to unlock opportunities for local supplies to the growing hospitality industry and also comes at a time when the presidential economic blue print for economic emancipation of Namibians, the Harambee Prosperity Plan which aims to eradicate poverty in the country was launched.
Mouton also reveals that his company has also laid a foundation to curtail the challenge of unskilled labour in the industry by creating strategic partnerships with the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Namibian University of Namibia (UNAM).
The alliances with the tertiary institutions will see them create a conveyer belt for skills in Hotel and Tourism industry while UAG provides the platform for practical training and subsequent employment of the graduates.
“The idea is to provide internship opportunities for students in the field of hospitality and tourism in order to ensure that upon graduation their skill levels is on par with international market standards”.
Despite moderation in tourism figures from the conventional European tourist in the past few years when the EU bloc experienced financial challenges, Mouton believes the future of the industry is bright and will continue to improve.
“UAG looks at what the market demands are within Namibia and internationally and ensures that it stays on top of the market trends whilst continuously improving service to its clients.”
Mouton also explains that, “The debenture funding from Vantage will be used to support UAG’s equity contribution for the construction of a new Hilton Garden Inn.”
He also says the new hotel will be equipped with all the facilities expected of a world class business and leisure hotel, including a pool, sundeck, gym and roof garden.
The proximity to the existing Hilton Windhoek Hotel will also allow for the sharing of services including conference facilities.
Although the company is currently busy with the Garden Inn; Mouton also reveals that, the company recently acquired the Tallas Building from FNB Namibia and are planning the refurbishment of the Lavison Arcade.