TOURISM

60% of Hotels depending on the foreign market still closed in Kilifi

Majority of the hotels relied on the International tourism which was affected by the pandemic as many european countries are on lockdown and peple cant travel

In Summary

Normally during the festive season like this one hotel are usually packed with foreign tourists all over Malindi, Watamu, Mamburui,  and Cheshale which are favorite destinations due to their fine beaches and closeness to the park

The Ocean Beach resort and spa in Malindi which is open
The Ocean Beach resort and spa in Malindi which is open
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
The reception of Ocean beach resort and spa in Malindi which is open and receiving guests for the festive season
The reception of Ocean beach resort and spa in Malindi which is open and receiving guests for the festive season
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Pasqualle Tirito the chairman of Jacaranda beach resort in Watamu tests a hand washing equipment at the resort .
TOURISM Pasqualle Tirito the chairman of Jacaranda beach resort in Watamu tests a hand washing equipment at the resort .
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Safina beach resort one of the tourism resorts in Watamu
Safina beach resort one of the tourism resorts in Watamu
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
A staff at the Safina beach resort in Watamu shows the empty resort during this festive season which is not normal for them as the covid 19 pandemic highly affected them
A staff at the Safina beach resort in Watamu shows the empty resort during this festive season which is not normal for them as the covid 19 pandemic highly affected them
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

More than 60 percent of the hotels depending on foreign tourists are still closed in the North Coast region following the effects of the global covid 19 pandemics.

Those hotels have for years been depending on foreign markets particularly the Italian tourists who have not been able to come making it hard for them to resume business.

Chairperson of the Kenya Hotel Keepers and Caterers Association North Coast Branch Maureen Awuor said lockdown in the foreign countries due to covid has made it difficult for tourists to travel for their holidays in the resort towns.

Normally during the festive season like this one hotel are usually packed with foreign tourists all over Malindi, Watamu, Mamburui,  and Cheshale which are favorite destinations due to their fine beaches and closeness to the park.

However, currently, the situation is different and those open are relying on the domestic market which has also not picked.

In an interview, Awuor who is also the General Manager of Ocean Beach Resort and Spa in Malindi said many hotels said hotels expected tourists would like to stream in for Christmas and new year holidays but this did not happen due to the lockdown in many countries. 

 ''Even the hotels that have been depending on the domestic market did not have full projections due to fear that the government could impose inter-county lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19,'' she said.

Awuor said currently hotels are still between 40 to 50 percent of the projections as clients fear there could be a lockdown between counties due to the pandemic.

She called on the government not to impose an intercounty lockdown as it would have negative repercussions to the hotel industry which was highly affected since the Covid 19 was declared in March.

 The Chairperson said clients are booking but do not deposit any money which is normally the case with Christmas where bookings are confirmed with deposits.

She said incase of lockdown some hotels will incur costs to refund money to those who deposited money.

'' During the festive season most hotels buy goods early to avoid the issue of out of stock, what will happen to us and the clients that had already paid in case of a lockdown,'' she said.

 Awuor said incase of lockdown it will be a challenge to them having already bought items from suppliers.

The GM together with Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi called on Kenyans to feel free and travel to the county as all the safety measures have been put in place in the resorts to prevent the spread of covid 19.

Kingi said a team of health officials have been dispatched to the resorts which are open to inspect and ensure they are following the government protocols of covid 19. 

He said all hotels in Malindi, Kilifi, and Mtwapa have set up adequate measures to curb the pandemic and assured them of safety. 

''We held talks with all stakeholders in the hospitality industry, health teams went to inspect the hotels and all is set for hotels to receive guests,'' he said.

The government allowed hotels to reopen four months ago after they were closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic that had hit the globe.

Jacaranda beach resort was opened on December 16 but they do not expect to have good bed occupancy.

The Resort chairman Pasquale Tirito said they have three hotels but will only open one for the few guests who have booked with them but there is no justification for a return of their money.

Speaking at the hotel he said they followed all government set protocols and ensured all 100 staff members are tested for Covid 19.

To him, the tourism sector may have a come back for International guests after September next year. ''We have received bookings from domestic tourists only because ur traditional markets in Europe are still on lockdowns,

 Safina beach resort is also pen but does not have guests though they expect to get guests this week.

 Jackson Murithi the marketing manager of Safina Beach said they were forced to reduce the number of staff to cut costs as there are no guests.

The economy has been seriously felt by the community including the bodaboda operators who also decry the lack of jobs since the hotels were closed in the Jacaranda area.

George Charo a bodaboda operator said it's time the government intervened and help the locals to cushion them against the effects of the covid 19 pandemics as people are suffering.

Ministry of Tourism through the Kenya Tourism Board has been at the forefront in promoting the domestic market in the coast region with a view to ensure Kenyans tour the country and experience the diverse attractions.