Narok County could suffer loss of revenues amounting to Sh2.4 billion as hotels remain shut because of the Covid-19.
Most of the hotels that have been closed operate in the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve
Speaking in Narok yesterday, governor Samuel Tunai said several tented camps and leisure hotels have closed after the government banned international flights.
"Right now there are no tourists and several hotels have been shut. As a county, we could lose Sh2.4 billion in annual revenues. We have to make adjustments on our budget,” said Mr Tunai.
Tunai at the same time asked players in the hospitality industry to consider giving their staff at least six-month paid leave to cushion them from the harsh economic times.
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"I urge hotel owners to give their staff paid leave. These people (workers) have been serving them diligently before the Covid-19 outbreak and it is fair that they get paid leave until normalcy returns,” said Tunai.
Even as hotels remain closed, Tunai affirmed that security personnel are on guard to protect wildlife from poachers.
He also revealed that the 10 people who had been placed on self-quarantine in the county have tested negative for the COVID-19.
Elsewhere in Laikipia County, traders who depend on the local tourist market are now counting loses. Some of them who operate at the Thomson Falls have started closing shop.
They mainly operate curio shops. The Nyahururu Curio Shops Owners Association chairperson Margaret Wanjira, said the number of tourists had fallen drastically since the first case of Covid-19 was reported
Nyahururu Panari Hotels General Manager Patrick Marekia said only a handful of tourists are currently visiting the hotel. Laikipia Trade Executive Biwot Tirop said the county will suffer loses if the hotels remain closed.
“Thomson Falls which brings Sh50 million annually has no tourists,” said Biwot.