The Nairobi expressway is expected to immensely benefit city hospitality industry players. It’s set to link the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Syokimau SGR station to the city, reducing travel time and enhancing connectivity.
The dual carriageway expressway is anticipated to reduce the travel time through Nairobi during rush hour from 2 hours to 20 minutes. According to Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya loses over 50 million shillings from the delays caused by traffic and accidents in urban areas translating to a loss of 18.25 billion shillings annually.
PrideInn Hotels Managing Director, Hasnain Noorani expressed his elation on the expressway facilitating reduced time spent on traffic and Nairobi becoming an exciting place for local and international conferences and tourists. As Noorani noted, the project would complete the business leisure cycle availing the chance to enjoy Nairobi’s cultural, leisure and wildlife products.
“The road, linking JKIA and Syokimau SGR station to city’s tourism hub will avail a faster transport option to both local and international tourists yearning for leisure and conferences in Nairobi,” added Hasnain.
The impact of road infrastructure on tourism is reported to more visible than ever before. Road and transport infrastructure in a country have been seen to attract tourists and promote tourism destinations while decongesting roads is expected to significantly boost tourists inflow.
“Road infrastructure is absolutely important for the dispersal of tourists and conference delegates beyond major gateways. If we want to continue to grow tourism and in particular conference tourism in Nairobi, road infrastructure is one area that needs continuous improvement. Hopefully, with current ongoing construction of Expressway, movement from the airport to the city centre will be made easy,” asserted the Managing Director.
Noorani bitterly expressed the pandemic’s blow on the tourism and hospitality industry stating its recuperation greatly relies on the development of appropriate infrastructure, which services the needs of tourists and encourages investment in the sector.
“Upon completion of Nairobi Express Way, we foresee hospitality segments such as accommodation, restaurants, built-up attractions, tours and transport boom,” he added.
He sought to highlight the contribution such amenities would have in ensuring Nairobi’s tourism products are enjoyable, reliable, and sustainable. The expressway would also be expected to provide a first critical impression of Nairobi as a destination to the tourists and improve inland mobility and experience.
Two years ago, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority ranked Nairobi as the fourth most congested city in the world. The time wasted in these traffic jams bleeds the city a whopping Sh100 billion every year.