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Serena Hotels to enter DRC market later in July as part of its expansion drive

By Philip Mwakio | February 6th 2019
By Philip Mwakio | February 6th 2019

Serena Hotel is gearing up for expansion into the populous Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to Managing Director, Mr Mahmud Janmohamed in an interview with The Standard, they have identified a hotel in the mining town of Goma where they will be assuming management roles later in the month of July, 2019.

''We are expanding our footprint into DRC. It is a management contract,'' the MD said.

Serena Hotels have a strong presence in both Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, spicy Indian Ocean, islands of Zanzibar and in Mozambique .Its other top hotels are located in Asia.

At the same time, the career hotelier expressed optimism that Kenyan international tourist arrivals will increase this year after a remarkable 2018 that saw arrivals hit the 2 million mark.

''Kenya's resilience in the wake of several challenges including the recent terror attack has always proved that it is a popular destination for many long haul travellers. We are seeing clear signs of a better year,'' he said.

He added that going forward there was need for industry marketers to target better quality tourists whose daily expenditure is higher.

''We should not only focus at increase in numbers but also quality of tourists who come into our beautiful country for holiday as this would translate into more revenues for the exchequer,'' he said.

He commended the government for putting into place bold steps to help in reviving tourism like fixing infrastructure and boosting security but added that more needed to be done to fix teething problems that still dodge Kenyan tourism recovery efforts.

Elsewhere, the Kenya Coast Tourist Association (KCTA) now wants more resources allocated to the Tourist Police Unit (TPU) to handle the ever increasing challenges on security that face the sector.

KCTA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Julius Owino said that there was need to have the unit well equipped and make them visible in all key tourist hot spot areas.

He said that his organisation was keen to offer support and ensure that TPU officers get specialised language training to be able to communicate with tourists of various nationalities who visit Kenya.

''We rarely encounter them. There are reports of continued tourist harrassments particularly when they go out for city tours or even beach strolls. These can be contained once we have adequate officers on daily patrols in designated locations which are frequented by tourists,'' Owino said.

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