Luxury hotel brand, Hemingways Collection, has welcomed the scheduled Kenya Airways daily flights between Nairobi and New York, saying they herald huge opportunities for local business and leisure tourism.

Group Operations Director Mr Ross Evans said the development is a welcome boost for Hemingways Collection as majority of the hotel’s leisure guests are from the USA. He added that shortened flight hours would also bring added benefits to the country.

“We also expect this to boost the corporate market with Nairobi strengthening its position as a regional hub for corporate travel. Along with the direct routes, the actual flight times have been well thought out with both legs being overnight flights,” said Mr Evans.

Figures from the Kenya Tourism Board indicate that tourists from the US grew 16.3% to 95,771 between January and October last year up from 82,363 visitors recorded in the same period in 2016.

These numbers are expected to go up this year on the back of increased confidence from foreign visitors, growth in domestic tourism and largely with the planned daily flights to New York later in the year.

Reduction in flight times, Mr. Evans added, means US leisure travelers will have more time to spend experiencing all that Kenya has to offer.

“Currently many visitors from the US spend very little time in Nairobi and miss out on some of our country’s fantastic attractions and culture,” he said.

Nairobi was recently ranked number three in the Top Travel Destinations for 2018 by users of travel website Trip Advisor under its annual Travellers’ Choice awards.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts business and leisure spending in Kenya to grow at an average rate of five percent annually; business tourism spending is projected to reach KSh 252 billion ($2.8bn) by 2025 while Leisure spending is expected to reach KSh 400.6 billion ($4.4bn) over the same period.

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These developments will accelerate Hemingways Collection’s philosophy to twin boutique luxury properties with unrivalled service and guest experiences while helping Kenya to build a more respected Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) market portfolio.

Already, the hotel is working with key not-for-profit partners to benefit the environment and communities for a sustainable future including Naboisho Conservancy, One Horizon and Watamu Marine Association.

“Increased leisure and corporate travelers from the US market will allow Hemingways Collection to continue to partner with these groups to promote socially responsible tourism for the long term,” said Mr Evans.

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