REPORT

Hospitality sector slowly recovering from Covid-19

The sector has also been receiving backup from the government which formed the National Tourism and Hospitality Protocols Taskforce meant to develop tourism and hospitality protocols

In Summary
  • This as more hotels last week resumed their restaurant activities including dine-in and deliveries.
Sirikwa Hotel, one of the leading hotels in Eldoret, shut down due to effects of Covid-19.
SHUT DOWN: Sirikwa Hotel, one of the leading hotels in Eldoret, shut down due to effects of Covid-19.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

The hospitality sector in Kenya is on a cautious recovery from the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by investment firm Cytonn.

This as more hotels last week resumed their restaurant activities including dine-in and deliveries.

They include Villa Rosa Kempinski, Ole Sereni, Hemingways Watamu, Radisson Blu Arboretum and Trademark Hotel, while others such as Pride Inn announced plans to reopen by mid-June.

 
 

This after the government’s May 20 approval for restaurants located in major towns to resume operations albeit under strict new safety measures.

They include, spacing dining tables at least 1.5 metres apart, limiting the number of persons per table to 4 per 10 SQM, and strict client and staff temperature monitoring.

Cytonn expects the hotel reopening coupled by the plan by airlines such as Kenya Airways and Air Tanzania to resume passenger flights, to put hotels back on a slow recovery path, even as social distancing measures and curfews remain in place.

The sector also received support from the government which formed the National Tourism and Hospitality Protocols Taskforce meant to develop tourism and hospitality protocols and guidelines in response to COVID-19 pandemic and to support tourism operations.

Additionally, the tourism sector received the biggest boost from the government’s stimulus package plan with hotels and other hospitality facilities set to receive soft loans through the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC), while a total of Sh2billion will be set aside to support the renovation of facilities and the restructuring of business operations in the industry.

Even as the sector struggles to recover, Chaudhary Group, a Nepalese multinational acquired majority ownership of The Fairmont the Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club from Kingdom Hotel Investment in a deal worth about Sh2.8 billion.

According to Cytonn,  this affirms Kenya’s attractiveness particularly to high-net-worth global investors keen on tapping into the vibrant sector of top-notch hospitality facilities mainly driven by Kenya’s position as the ultimate gateway to East and Central Africa despite COVID-19.

 
 

“We expect the sector to continue recording activities as the economy cautiously reopens following the COVID-19 closures, coupled with improved infrastructure, foreign investments and continued government efforts to cushion businesses,” Cytonn said.