Economy

Hotels rehire on easing restrictions

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Tourists at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Summary

  • Hotels are rehiring staff following increasing demand with the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Estimates put employment levels at 62 percent of pre-pandemic levels as businesses hire to match demand during the peak season.
  • A Central Bank of Kenya survey shows hotels hiring rate jumped to 57 percent in May from 42 percent at the same time a year ago.

Hotels are rehiring staff following increasing demand with the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Estimates put employment levels at 62 percent of pre-pandemic levels as businesses hire to match demand during the peak season.

A Central Bank of Kenya survey shows hotels hiring rate jumped to 57 percent in May from 42 percent at the same time a year ago.

Hotels in Mombasa were hiring casual staff last month while keeping others on shifts ahead of the August peak season.

Thousands of people lost their jobs after the closure of facilities in 2020 and a steep drop in international arrivals.

The hospitality sector accounted for 1.1 million jobs in 2017.

“Hotels recalled or employed new workers after the scale down in April 2021 occasioned by the enhanced Covid-19 restrictions,” the CBK report says.

“While the level of employment in Nairobi improved in July, it declined slightly in the rest of the country, in line with the demand for hotel services. Most hotels operating in Nakuru County reported hiring more employees in June, during the WRC event.”

The industry relies on domestic tourists after the State eased some of the restrictions. However, it is still struggling to remain afloat on low revenues.

The CBK survey shows local guests took up 80.1 per cent of accommodation and 81.1 per cent of restaurant services between June and July, compared to 62 percent and 69 percent, respectively, before the pandemic.