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Domestic tourism shows signs of rebound

By Steve Umidha
Thursday, August 6th, 2020
PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort. Photo/Ndegwa Gathungu
In summary

Steve Umidha @UmidhaSteve

Kenya’s tourism sector is upbeat with domestic holiday business revamping after lifting of restrictions on inter-county travel two weeks ago.

Several hotels particularly in the coast circuit have seen an uptick in local tourist numbers, while attractions in other parts of the country report more arrivals by car, train and local aircraft.

PrideInn Paradise is among beach resort hotels that reopened to domestic tourists for business on Monday after a four – month pause.

The hotel among other brands suspended operations in March – sending its staff home in April following government’s ban on meetings and gatherings as a way of taming the spread of the coronavirus.

Over that period, Kenya’s tourism industry is estimated to have lost in excess of Sh85 billion in revenue due to the crisis.

Tourism crisis

“We have lost about 50 per cent of the $1.6 billion (Sh174b) tourism revenues,” said Tourism CS Najib Balala during the launch of the National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee Report in June.

Sector players say travellers are now making bookings, with Hidden Gem Adventures & Events reporting that reservations for domestic hotels have bounced back to over 50 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels.

“We have seen an increased number in bookings and reservations in the last week and it is a clear sign that things are gradually bouncing back,” says Immaculate Wanyonyi, Tourism manager with Hidden Gem adventures – forecasting better days ahead.

“The situation has been difficult for the hospitality and tourism industry and even more severe given that this industry relies on human relationships and social interaction.

We are very excited about our reopening and are welcoming guests,” said Hasnain Noorani, Managing Director of PrideInn group of hotels.

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