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Skewed development of hotels hurts growth of hospitality, tourism sector

OPINION
By Benard amaya | January 4th 2020

Accommodation facilities are a major factor in the choice of a holiday destination. When guests make purchase choices for a destination, they do so on the availability of quality and affordable accommodation. Besides quality aspects, destinations should have accommodation with adequate capacity.

Many destinations are unable to attract tourists due to lack of quality accommodation. Some do not have adequate capacity to cater for the growing number of tourists visiting specific regions.

Hence, quality accommodation is key factor that contributes towards a destination competitiveness.

The skewed development of hotels in certain destinations has led to unequal development of hospitality and tourism industry.

Some regions have over-concentration of hospitality faculties compared to others. In particular, the traditional tourism hotspots of Mara, Coast and Nairobi are choking with hotels.

Nairobi has been cited as a region attracting all the new hotels. Major global brands are setting up hotels in Kenya’s capital.

For example the Marriott hotels, the Pullman’s, Sheraton, Hilton hotel chain and Radisson hotels have all set up units in Nairobi.

More hotels are angling to invest in the city. Mara too is a favourite for for investors in the hospitality industry.

The rate at which facilities are springing up in the Masai Mara National Reserve is alarming. Unplanned development of lodges is threatening the natural ecosystem of the tourist destination. While this is happening, other regions outside the traditional tourism circuit are suffering from acute shortage of quality accommodation.

Even economy budget hotels are lacking. This has made these regions unattractive and less competitive. Drastic measures are needed to change this trend. Government has a duty to enact policies to move development of hotels to other regions. Incentives can help to achieve this goal.

Development of the hospitality sector in the Western and Northern tourism circuit will boost visitors numbers and generate more revenue for the national and county governments.   

Letter to the Editor from Benard Amaya, Nairobi.

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