RECOVERY

Malindi hoteliers strive to revamp collapsed tourism sector

The resorts which are open are surviving on conferencing , and weddings together with the now growing domestic tourism market

In Summary
  • The town which relies heavily on the tourism sector suffered a major setback since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
  • Some hoteliers feel it is through the special packages and activities which can make the town vibrant again.
A Chef at Ocean Beach resort and Spa malindi with some of the cuisines set up for Sunday brunch
A Chef at Ocean Beach resort and Spa malindi with some of the cuisines set up for Sunday brunch
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
The Sunday Brunch Buffet at Ocean Beach Resort and Spa Malindi
The Sunday Brunch Buffet at Ocean Beach Resort and Spa Malindi
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Kennedy Otieno a resident of Malindi with his family arrives fornthe Sunday brunch
Kennedy Otieno a resident of Malindi with his family arrives fornthe Sunday brunch
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
A cook serves food to foreign tourists during the Ocean beach resort and spa Malindi Sunday brunch
A cook serves food to foreign tourists during the Ocean beach resort and spa Malindi Sunday brunch
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
A Chef prepares nyama choma for guests at the Ocean beach resort in Malindi
A Chef prepares nyama choma for guests at the Ocean beach resort in Malindi
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

Hoteliers in Malindi have come up with affordable and attractive packages for local and international tourists in order to revamp the sector, which is has been struggling due to the negative impact of Covid-19.

The town which relies heavily on the tourism sector suffered a major setback since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe forcing many resorts to close down.

Kenya Hotel Keepers and Caterers Association Chairperson in North Coast Maureen Awuor said the introduction of such packages will help make the town vibrant again.

Speaking at Ocean beach Resort and Spa during the launch of ‘Sunday brunch’ which offers a special buffet at only Sh. 3500 for families to enjoy their Sundays she said the initiative is meant to help people enjoy with their loved ones at a very affordable rate.

Currently she said there are only five hotels in Malindi which are open as many others are yet to open business due to the pandemic.

Most resorts depend on the foreign market and many countries have restricted their citizens from travelling due to the pandemic.

However, she said even as they wait for the reopening of the international market the special packages will enable locals to enjoy at affordable rates.

“As you can see today it’s a very bright Sunday and as Ocean beach resort, we have decided to start hosting activities and one of them is the Sunday brunch. Why we decided to start with the Sunday brunch is because Sunday is  a family day and this is a day that we want to bring the families together,” said Awuor, who is also the General Manager of Ocean beach resort.

She said the Sunday brunch gives an opportunity for families to swim, have fun, listen to the music and do everything together.

Awuor said such activities have not always been done in Malindi and was being done for the first time.

“Today is our launch day and we are looking forward to have lots of people coming down just to share the good moments with their families,” she said.

She said the set up comprise of lots of food as it is what brings people especially families together.

They offered live stations for pastas, Nyama choma, sweets, ice creams, normal food from the chefing dishes.

Upon arrival, there are welcoming drinks for all for free, a free glass of Sangira, free swimming, 50 percent discounts and live entertainment.

“We have started this and are looking forward to be hosting this on every Sunday,” she said.

Awuor said the state of tourism is not good so far in Malindi as there are less than five hotels which are open but she expressed optimism that other hotel owners may reopen soon.

The Kenya hotel keepers and caterers Association chairperson called on other stakeholders to come up with other initiatives so as to make the town is vibrant and attract people from Mombasa, Kilifi, or Watamu to spend their day.

She said those hotels operating depend on conferencing, weddings adding that despite the pandemic there is hope that the industry will rise again.

“We are encouraging other hotels to ensure their staff get vaccinated so that it is easier for service delivery, we are also asking the whole public please let’s go get this vaccine because that is the only way that we will be able to interact freely,’ she said.

She said the international market will be realized after the vaccination process is done which calls for utilization of the domestic market.

The Operations Manager of Ocean beach Shimo Chimoshe said they will be doing the brunch experience every Sunday.

He said the brunch buffet compose of three cuisines including the Mediterranean, a touch of international and local cuisine.

“When you come here, we have like seven different stations of food that will make you experience the world of culinary art,” he said.

Chimoshe said they also have an array of different pastries both international and local to suit the local guests.

Kennedy Otieno a domestic tourist from Malindi welcomed the move for special offers and packages saying it would go a long way in revamping the sector.

Currently, he said many people who work in the hotel industry lost their jobs and are undergoing tough times making it difficult even to take their children to school.

Otieno said he attended the Sunday brunch with his family and it was really fun as there were lots of food, drinks, and fun at an affordable rate.

“The foreign tourists we used to rely on before are not there we need to embrace the local market,” he said.