Thursday, 29 March 2018
KENYA: Tourists Flock Kenya Hotels In Readiness For Easter
Some of the establishments are already fully booked as holidaymakers trickle in to the resort town of Diani for festivities.
Hotels say local tourists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda have boosted their Easter bookings.
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort General Manager, Dickson Ogolla, said the hotel has 60 per cent bookings for Easter, adding that he expects the number to increase before Friday.
"We expect the bookings to increase to 80 per cent as more guests from upcountry will be trickling down for the celebrations," he said today.
Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) chairman Mohamed Hersi said operators were banking on the long weekend for increased business.
They say most hotels in the region are enjoying 70 to 80 per cent bed capacity with camps enjoying 60 per cent.
“We are doing fine. Easter has come quite early this time in March rather than April. We are looking at good occupancies although again Kenyans are very good in last minute bookings. We are optimistic the hotels will be full,” Mr Hersi said.
“Try to book a flight to Mombasa or Madaraka Express you won’t find any. That just tells you many Kenyans are travelling,” he added.
Kaskazi Beach Hotel general manager Imtyaz Ahmed Mirza echoed the sentiment, saying his hotel currently has an occupancy of 95 per cent.
Baobab Beach Resort also confirmed a 100 per cent occupancy rate, with 50 per cent of guests being locals while the rest are international visitors.
Mr Ikwaye reckons that the increased business from the region is due to marketing.
“There has been a lot of investments in terms of marketing in Kwale. Players in the sector have gone to World Travel Market and Uganda to source for tourists. They have upped their marketing budget and it is paying off,” he said.
He says quelled political temperatures and continued peace have also boosted tourist confidence.
“Many people didn’t travel in December due to the rising political temperatures. They now have a reason to take holidays and schools will also be closed. We are in the end of high season. Accessibility due to road network has really helped,” he added.
Despite the positive prospects ahead of the Easter holiday, Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has recently blamed over-reliance on seasonal foreign tourists for loss of Kenya's competitive edge in the global market.
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