Hotels operate at half capacity as political stand-off hurts business


Tourists enjoying themselves at Bamburi Beach Hotel, Mombasa in this photo taken on November 20, 2021. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

The hospitality industry is operating at half capacity as tourists put bookings on hold triggered by uncertainty caused by the prolonged electioneering period.

Their concern comes after Azimio la Umoja candidate Raila Odinga contested the outcome of the presidential results in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Leopards Beach Resort General Manager Kioko Musyoki said the current situation has taken a toll on the industry which is in its peak season. The sector, he said, is yet to fully recover from the effects of the campaigns which slowed tourist arrivals in the country due to heightened political activities.

Most hoteliers depend on this season which begins in July due to the renowned wildebeest migration and the Humpback Whale migration, drawing tourists from various parts of the world to Kenya.

“We are operating at 40 percent and this is low because people are still apprehensive and they are waiting to see the conclusion of the ongoing process after a case was filed in the Supreme court,” said Mr Musyoki.

Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) Coast Branch Chairperson Monika Solanki said that the travel and tours business has picked up even as they project a vibrant market later in the year.

“We also have many Kenyans who relocated to the UK coming for holiday. We are expecting more tourists to come into the country,” she said.

Ms Solanki said that more airlines are expected to jet into the country in the coming weeks, a move that will boost the industry that has had a gradual recovery since being affected by the Coronavirus scourge.

"We are communicating with the agents and advising them to keep booking even as we hope things go well," she said.

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