PrideInn Azure Hotel in Nairobi
PrideInn Group of hotels group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani (left) and General Manager Ann Peggy participate in a cake mixing activity to usher in 2020 festive festival even as merry makers remain extremely concerned about health and safety. [ Photo / Business Today ]

End of year corporate activities, social activities, and weddings have brought a ray of hope for the hospitality industry in Nairobi amid looming fears of a second wave of Covid-19. The drop in Covid-19 i********s a while ago and the gradual opening of the hotels post lockdown had brought recovery hopes in the industry before the country experienced a resurgence.

Although recording very low occupancy rates of 20% in Nairobi compared Mombasa’s 70%, hoteliers are optimistic that the domestic market and other segments will gradually pave the way for business in 2021. “Many companies are looking for affordable end year parties this year and we are trying our best to give that,” said Jacton Amutala, PrideInn Azure General Manager. “Kenya’s domestic tourism market has remained resilient and that is a key factor in the industry’s recovery.”

The leisure segment in Nairobi is picking up and hotels are experiencing good business from the events segment which is seen to recover faster, according to Farzana Zahir, PrideInn Hotels sales and marketing director. Business travel and stay are lagging behind and expected to gradually recover in the second phase.

The sector hopes for improved business in January 2021 till the end of the year driven by the reopening of institutions like schools and colleges which are frequent clients, international flights as well as the relaxation of meetings and gathering prohibition.

“With Covid-19 situation, couples are avoiding going abroad for destination weddings and even holding mega wedding as per government directives,” says Farzana, Thus we are hosting the weddings and honeymoons right here, with an average of seven weddings on smaller scales within our facilities per week, focusing on the safety and hygiene factor as the most important priority.”

Office end-of-year parties are now starting to pick up. Although some companies are choosing to skip the holiday party entirely this year, as the Covid-19 p******c continues to disrupt traditions and office life.

“Even though we are receiving fair business from the corporate events segment, about 30% of our traditional clients are not having a holiday celebration this year due to fear of Covid-19,” says Mr Amutala.

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