Western Kenya hotels forecast better sales this festive season
Lake Victoria Basin hospitality sector players are confident the region will post booming business this festive season, especially in the domestic tourism front.
Lake Victoria Tourism Association chairman Robinson Anyal said the hotel industry within the region has continued to register a significant improvement in business performance since the government eased some of the Covid-19 containment measures earlier this year.
Some of the restrictions lifted were the nationwide dust-to-dawn curfew and increasing business hours for the restaurants and eateries. Anyal said the number of conferences and meetings have increased in recent months following the relaxed Covid restrictions, signalling better moments for industry in days to come.
“With the festive season peak beckoning, hoteliers are anticipating to register increased business volumes majorly from corporate end-year parties, parastatals and meetings by NGOs and team building activities that have since resumed,” he told Business Hub.
Similarly, Anyal added, hotels expect to capitalise on opportunities that come in handy with festive celebration activities like family get-together parties, weddings, holiday travels and group retreats for guests and families coming to celebrate Christmas and New Year festivities.
“We are hoping for good tidings in the hotel industry that has recorded a gradual increase in numbers since curfew was lifted,” he said , adding they expect to achieve between 40 and 50 per cent occupancies from below 15 per cent last year and above 50 per cent in 2019.
So far, he said spot checks showed that other hotels in the region are receiving enhanced bookings and confirmations prior to the festivities, adding that 99 per cent bookings are from the local and domestic market.
“Previously we were doing more than 80 per cent domestic market and less 20 per cent international market.
The same figures applies to business and leisure tourism respectively,” Anyal added.
Pauline Anyona, sales manager at Acacia Premier hotel, said that hospitality industry in the region is showing signs of positive growth after being greatly ravaged by negative effects of Covid-19. A number of the hotels, she added, have had more conference business going into month of December contrary to their expectations from what they experienced the same period last year.
“Things are looking up especially after the presidential address that lifted the curfew and other Covid restrictions. November and part of December have been very busy with most hotels in Kisumu hosting big meetings and even exceeding their targets. We are hopeful that the festive season is equally going to be busy,” Anyona said.
Kisumu’s Joventure Hotel general manager Peter Ayuko concurred, saying the industry business performance is on the upward trajectory. “In general, our industry is on upward performance,” he added.
Immediately after the curfews were lifted, our accommodation and conference bookings shot up with accommodation stabilising at around 60 per cent. We believe the business boom will continue towards the end of the year and in early January,” said Ayuko.