TOURISM

Hotels adopt 'buy now, stay later' sales to keep afloat

A quick search online revealed that various hotels have started adopting a holiday bonding package to market their hotels for post corona.

In Summary
  • This as the tourism sector awaits recovery since it was one of the worst hit sector by the deadly virus.
  •  The Covid-19 pandemic and the government measures taken to flatten the curve and rate of infections in the country put a halt to both international and domestic travel, resulting in the temporary closure of tourism properties.
Sandies Malindi Dream Garden is a contemporary boutique hotel nestled amongst colourful tropical gardens on the shores of Malindi Beach
Sandies Malindi Dream Garden is a contemporary boutique hotel nestled amongst colourful tropical gardens on the shores of Malindi Beach
Image: COURTESY

Hotels have started adopting new marketing measures for post-Covid-19 survival.

This as the tourism sector which was one of the hardest hit struggles to recover from the economic impact brought by the pandemic.

 
 
 

Swiss-owned Planhotel, operating three properties in Malindi - Diamonds Dream of Africa, Sandies Malindi Dream Garden and Sandies Tropical Village  has launched a new concept of forward payments for holidays  known as holiday bonds.

The holiday bonds, available for purchase until June 15, 2020, will be valid for two years.  One bond covers the value of one-night accommodation for two at any of their Kenyan properties, on an all-inclusive basis (all meals and drinks) for 50 per cent of the cost.

The holiday bond is transferrable, can be gifted or sold on. No booking date is required at the time of purchase.

There is no restriction on the number of bed nights purchased, and the costs vary according to the property and start from Sh9,500 to Sh15,000 per night, for two people sharing.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the government measures taken to flatten the curve and rate of infections in the country put a halt to both international and domestic travel, resulting in the temporary closure of tourism properties.

“The holiday bond is a bonus for those thinking of leisure travel and we look forward to welcoming guests back at our properties” said Planhotel Malindi’s general manager, Alexander Zissimatos said.

 
 

The impact on Kenya’s tourism industry has been crippling with over 15 million Kenyans directly and indirectly affected by the pandemic and loss of business.

Re-opening hotels and lodges, therefore, has been a priority for the Kenyan government.

“Our industry partners need to look into the future and continue investing in our unmatched beaches and natural resources,” said CS Tourism Najib Balala

“This Buy Now Stay Later programme is valuable to support our hotel industry that has faced unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope other properties in the country join them,” he said.

The Lonno Lodge in Watamu also has a new marketing strategy where you buy a gift certificate to book a holiday which you can use for the next 12 months.

“Gift Certificates are available at $250(Sh 25000) per night in full board for 2 guests instead of the regular rate of $432(Sh43200) per double room per night,” read a statement on the lodge’s website.