Founder of Malindi’s Planhotel Hospitality Group dies at 94 years

Franco Rosso
Franco Rosso. [Photo/ Courtesy]

Malindi tourism pioneer and founder of Franco Rosso International  – one of Italy’s leading tour operators – Franco Rosso died on Monday 27 March 2023 aged 94 in Lugano, Switzerland.

He launched Kenya on the Italian market 50 year ago with the first charter flight from Italy to Nairobi. He first came to Kenya in 1967, accompanied by his late wife, Amalia for a month-long vacation in East Africa and decided to invest in Malindi.  He opened his first hotel Tropical Village on Casuarina beach, followed by Diamonds Dream of Africa and the adjacent Coconut and Malindi beach hotel.  He opened the fourth property, Sandies Malindi Dream Garden in 2018

Today, Diamond Dream of Africa is Africa’s leading all-inclusive resort being awarded in the World Travel Awards in 2021 and 2022 and Africa’s Leading Beach Hotel in 2012. 

He leaves three children Sara, Paolo and Alessandro. The funeral ceremony will be held at the Tempio Crematorio di Lugano, Via Trevano at 14:00hr on Thursday, March the 30th followed by the wake at The View Lugano, Via Guidino 29 at 15:00. 

In Kenya, a memorial service will be held at 15:00 on Thursday, 30 March at Sandies Tropical Village, Casuarina Road, Malindi.

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