Currently, foreign tourism takes a bigger percentage than the local tourism at the Kenya Coast. Credit: File.

North Coast tourism and hospitality industry players are optimistic of booming business during the Easter holiday that begins mid next month. The industry is experiencing a boom after hundreds of international tourists flock the hotels amid low season. Players in the industry have recorded a significant increase of 25% in bookings at this period compared to the same period in 2018. This has been a major boost to the industry which has largely relied on domestic tourism in the last couple of years.

Kenya Coast Working Group Chairman Hasnain Noorani said bed occupancy since January has hovered between 55 and 70%.

“Currently, foreign tourism takes a bigger percentage than the local tourism,” said  Noorani, who is also the Managing Director for PrideInn Hotels.

On his part, PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort General Manager Mohammed Omar noted the increase is attributed to international chartered and direct flights received in Mombasa.

“There has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of holidaymakers choosing Mombasa as a holiday destination since January. This is largely attributed to increase in number of chartered, international direct flights and local daily flights received in Mombasa,” said Mr. Omar.

“This season has shown positive signs. We have recorded more tourist numbers over the period compared to previous years. We are expecting more international guests this month,” he added.

As tourist arrivals increase and income from travelers also rises, the Chinese market is a notable trend that is seen to shape destination Kenya’s performance this year.

“China is the leading country in outbound tourism globally. This and the fact that China has strong economic ties with Kenya should see destination Kenya tapping more into this market. This will necessitate hotel operators to offer facilities and experiences that this market demands,” said Mr. Noorani.

PrideInn has recently appointed veteran hotelier Lucy Macridis as a director of sales to steer its expansion plan as well as implementing and managing the sales activities, identifying new market opportunities in East Africa region and defining the actions required to bring a new dynamic to hotel business and generate new growth within the hotels.

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Political stability and enhanced security is seen to boost hospitality industry. Tourism arrivals for the year 2018 stood at 2,025,206. Government efforts to invest more in the security sector with innovations in security management has improved the safety of tourists boosting the industry performance.

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