Market News

Hotel bookings pick up ahead of Aug 1 international flights return

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Forward hotel bookings for August to October have shown a rebound from the lows recorded since April, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said, indicating a change of fortunes for the sector that has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 economic disruption.

The CBK said Thursday that a survey of hotels in the country shows that bookings for August are at seven percent, September (17 percent) and 18 percent in October.

CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said in a post-Monetary Policy Committee meeting briefing that 60 percent of the surveyed hotels expect to be open when international air travel resumes next week as the sector moves to make up for lost revenues that led to lay-offs and salary cuts.

“Key to note is that they are getting forward looking bookings. These bookings, however await confirmations and depend on the re-opening of international travel,” said Dr Njoroge.

“It is important though that they are getting forward bookings, at least it is the beginning of a recovery in the hotel sector.”


He added that some hoteliers said their forward bookings for September and October will hit a high of 56 percent on the return of local and foreign tourists.

International flights will resume August 1, just weeks after return of local travel after President Uhuru Kenyatta eased the restrictions enforced in March to curb spread of the coronavirus disease.

Hotel occupancy rates in January stood at 44 percent then rose to 51 percent in February before falling to 24 percent in March when most countries banned international flights cutting the flow of tourists into Kenya.