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Protea Hotels is once again spreading its wings. The hotel group has just signed an agreement for the construction of another hotel in Uganda, bringing the number of hotels in the country to four. The new hotel will be built in Hoima, the centre of the Albertine Rift Valley oil exploration, extraction and processing region. This industry is set to be a key market segment of the hotel, which will be built to oil and gas industry health and safety regulations.

The 80-room hotel will comprise six conference facilities, capable of hosting 300 delegates, two restaurants, a swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and steam room, and disabled access to the property.

Construction begins in the third quarter of this year, and is expected to take 24 months to complete. Stuart Cook, MD of Protea Hotels Uganda, said Protea Hotel Kampala and Protea Hotel Entebbe were already open, while Protea Hotel Mbale joined the portfolio at the beginning of this month.

Protea Hotels is rapidly expanding in Uganda. This process is largely being driven by corporate travel because theres a lot of economic growth within the country. There are four Protea Hotels now, but I certainly dont expect this to be the last expansion announcement in the medium term, Cook said.

The Protea Hospitality Group is driving a massive expansion programme through Africa this year, with new builds and management acquisitions in Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia.

Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis said Uganda was an exciting developing nation and one where the company hoped to expand substantially in the next decade. This is Africas time; never before has the continent offered so much in terms of political stability and economic growth. The Protea Hospitality Group is expanding both the Protea Hotels and African Pride Hotels brands into Africa because there is demand for brands that are strong and trustworthy that offer exceptional GUEST service, said Gillis.

The Protea Hospitality Group also expects to announce its presence in another African country soon. Its exciting times for the continent, exciting times for hospitality as an industry here and especially exciting for the Protea Hospitality Group as we further cement our position as Africas largest and leading hotel group.