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Coast Hoteliers Introduces Sweet Deals To Fight Covid Scourge

Flamingo Prideinn Beach Resort
Tourists enjoy themselves at the Flamingo Prideinn Beach Resort in Mombasa on October 24, 2020. Many hotels have since shut their doors.Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya— Stung by the biting effects of Covid-19 on tourism and travel sector, hoteliers at the Coast have designed special packages to woo locals to their establishments by cutting their rates by more than a half.

A number of facilities have come up a six-month domestic package with a special rate for day tourists and invested in Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibitions (Mice) tourism as the low season creeps in after a devastating last year that left the sector on wobbly feet.

Southern Palms Beach Hotel and Bamburi Beach Hotel, which were mostly associated with European visitors are the latest facilities to cut their rates as they eye Easter season.

At Bamburi, the hotel has opened its doors to day domestic tourist where a number of programmes including deep sea diving and hotel games are on the menu.

Domestic tourism

Ms Margaret Masha, Bamburi Beach Hotel marketing manager said apart from domestic tourism, the hotel has been receiving good business since it resumed its operations in August 2020.

“We took advantage of the closure to do decorative maintenance after the five-months closure when Covid-19 reached its peak in the country. The pandemic has given us a lesson but as hotel we learnt closing the hotel is more expensive than remaining open and that is where we draw our resilience,” said Ms Masha.

Among packages the hotel has introduced include entertainment and beverages including alcohol which has attracted a number of tourists raising its bed occupancy from about 30 percent to more than 70 percent in the past few weeks.

Mr Fred Mshila, a Nairobi-based tourist said he was attracted by the offer to visit Bamburi Beach Hotel.

“I am a regular Mombasa tourist and I have not had a holiday for a year now. It is promising to see hotels are picking up though the situation is not the same as partying has to stop by 10pm unlike those days where we could party till dawn,” said Mr Mshila.

At Southern Palms Beach Resort in South Coast, the five-star resort has introduced superior packages inclusive of food, accommodation, snacks and drinks, which is the lowest package ever reported in a such facility in the country.

Bright future

With Kenya expecting vaccine in the next few weeks, industry players are optimistic of a rebound and opening up of further businesses in the sector on the way to full recovery two years ahead.

“Tourism sector and more so hotel industry has bright future especially now that Kenya will soon receive Covid-19 vaccine doses which will supplement ongoing Ministry of Health protocols. We hope to see the industry recover with biggest margin in the next few months,” said Halake Dogoma, a hotelier in Coast region.

The Ministry of Wildlife and Tourism said it had adopted the Mice business, to attract more revenue in the sector that is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic has affected Mice business, those are the challenges we are facing but we must put strategies. What next after the pandemic?” asked Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, during a webinar by African tourism industry players.


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