Hotels record higher uptake of local tourists

Patrick Mwashighadi is served with a drink at a Hotel.[Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Domestic demand for hotels went up 21 per cent at the height of Covid-19. This was however inadequate to cushion the industry from the harsh economic recession occasioned by the pandemic.

A survey by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) detailing the progress in the industry for the last 12 months ending May 2021, indicates that foreign clientele dropped by the same percentage.

The study, Monetary Policy Committee Hotels Survey, indicates that in the accommodation wing of the sector, locals accounted for 62 per cent of the clients before Covid-19.

The foreign clientele stood at 38 per cent. In the month Covid-19 was first reported in the country (March 2020), the percentage of local clientele went up to 86.5 per cent while foreign tourists dropped to 13.5 per cent.

This later stabilised to 83.8 per cent (local clientele) and 16.2 per cent for foreign as reported between April and May 2021.

For the restaurant business, the percentage of foreign and local clientele was 31.3 per cent and 68.7 per cent respectively - which changed to 15.8 per cent and 84.2 per cent in March 2020.

“Respondents attributed the dominance of local guests mainly to low foreign clients due to the international travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic period,” reads the survey.

“Responding hotels indicated that they have intensified their domestic marketing, and also offered discounted rates on their accommodation and restaurant services to attract local clientele.”

The survey covered hotels in Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kisii, Eldoret and Meru. 

[Graham Kajilwa]


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