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Tourism players at the Coast upbeat as festive bookings rise

By Philip Mwakio | November 21st 2021
By Philip Mwakio | November 21st 2021
Tourists view elephant tasks a long Moi Avenue in Mombasa. It is one of the tourist attractions in the country. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Key players in the tourism industry are looking forward to a busy festive season, following the opening up of the economy.

Hoteliers project 80 per cent occupancy from the second week of December, with airlines and the Madaraka Express Passenger train service fully booked for the holidays.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chairman Jimi Kariuki said the strong growth in domestic leisure and business travel points to a better festive season this year.

"The tourism sector has continued to prioritise Covid-19 vaccine among its employees which has played a part in raising confidence levels with travellers from within and outside terming Kenya a safe zone to travel," said Kariuki, who is also the managing director of Sarova Group of Hotels.

He stated the sector will adhere to health and safety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation, noting that the vacation of the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew has enabled businesses in the tourism sector to increase operating hours.

This, he noted will see more employees return to work, supporting the livelihoods of three million people directly and indirectly.

He noted that Coastal destinations of Diani, Mombasa, Kilifi, Watamu, Malindi and Lamu as well as Maasai Mara continue to be key destinations that drive increased domestic travel, noting that Tsavo, Amboseli, Shaba, Samburu, Naivasha, Nakuru and Laikipia are also seeing lots of interests.

One World Adventures boss Solomon Wao said they expect a better December season as people travel day and night, and party.

Mr Bobby Kamani, Managing Director of five-star Diani Beach Resort and Spa, said they are getting more inquiries from East Africa and beyond.   

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