After 18-Month Closure, Raddison Blu to Reopen in Nairobi

Raddison Blu is set to reopen its Upperhill location on May 9, what would be 18 months since it shut down in December 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.

The upmarket hotel was popular with business travelers in Nairobi but saw its revenues dip as various restrictions came into play. It undertook a downsizing exercise that left only a skeletal management team.

In what is a sign of recovery in the hospitality industry,  the hotel expects to open in May. The Norfolk is another five-star hotel that has reopened after being closed for several months and sending staff home.

Raddison Blu’s Upperhill location was preferred by numerous organizations for conferences, parties and other events. Most meetings and events, however, moved online in 2020.

The 271-room hotel is the largest of Raddison’s three properties in Nairobi. The others, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum and Park Inn by Radisson Nairobi Westlands, stayed open.

The United States is among countries that have downgraded Kenya’s travel alert status on Covid-19 due to lower positivity rates and continuing vaccination, boosting prospects for the travel and hospitality sectors.

The US was responsible for the largest share of foreign visitors to Kenya in 2021 at 136,981.

Kenya was moved to level one from level three, where US citizens are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to a destination and reconsider any planned travel. The move announced on Tuesday, March 22 is expected to be a shot in the arm for the hospitality and tourism sector continuing its recovery from the shocks of Covid.

Kenya’s tourism sector lost an estimated Ksh110 billion in 2020, with the Ministry of Tourism recording a massive of 57.9% drop in food and accommodation services over the period. Nonetheless, gradual easing of restrictions since 2021 as well as greater vaccination and lower positivity rates are driving recovery.

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MARTIN SIELE
MARTIN SIELEhttps://loud.co.ke/
Martin K.N Siele is the Content Lead at Business Today. He is also a Quartz contributor and a 2021 Baraza Media Lab-Fringe Graph Data Storytelling Fellow. Passionate about digital media, sports and entertainment, Siele also founded Loud.co.ke

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