Coastal tourism upbeat as bookings rise ahead of end-of-year festivities
Hospitality industry players in the coastal region are cashing in as the high tourism season steadily peaks up owing to increased arrivals from both local and international tourists.
With 90 per cent of guests trooping to the coast for holiday break, being domestic tourists, sector players say the sector has remained resilient even with the biting cost of living and ranging floods affecting a section of the country.
Coast Holiday Homes CEO HabeL Mwakio said many clients are now preferring to go to Airbnb, holiday homes and villas for holidays after major hotels and resorts get fully booked ahead of the festive season.
He said the demand for holiday homes in Mombasa and its neighbouring destinations has significantly risen this year compared to last year, with 90 per cent of the clientele coming from upcountry.
“Hotels are now over 90 per cent booked, we have noticed a trend where most clients opt for holiday homes because the hotels are so high in prices as compared to holiday homes. We are preparing to assist holiday makers who will miss hotel rooms,” said Mwakio.
The players say the Mombasa-Nairobi connectivity by Madaraka Express train has significantly improved movement of visitors. The upward trajectory is attributed to the relative calm the coast region is annoying. “We thank the government because the SGR train has made it easy for tourists to visit the coastal region,” said Mwakio.
At the Sunset paradise and holiday home in Shanzu for example, the holiday home is charging Sh12,000 per night and will soon be charging Sh20,000 for a two bedroom apartment with breakfast accommodation.
Mwakio said one bedroom currently coss between Sh5,000 to Sh7,000 but will sharply rise to sh 10,000 during the festivities. A three bedroom apartment which is now going for Sh15, 000 per night will now be costing Sh30,000 per night at the same period.
“Business is shaping us well, we are anticipating that by Christmas eve, all holiday homes and villas will be fully booked, we promise our clients that we will put into consideration the challenges of the economy as compared to hotels who have a standard rate,” said Jumwa Hebron one of apartment owners at sunset paradise holiday home in Shanzu.
This is as the exponential growth of Airbnb in major towns around the country continues to shape Kenya’s hospitality industry as it devours a share of traditional hotels’ revenues.