- Stakeholders are upbeat that tourism will make a major come back beginning July
- Hoteliers says they have ensured Covid-19 protocols set by the government are followed and are striving to vaccinate all workers.
Tourism stakeholders in Malindi are ready for the sector's revival this July after nearly two years of low performance due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders said they are prepared to receive both local and international guests having strived to keep the resort town and beaches clean through their monthly clean-ups.
They said hoteliers have also ensured Covid-19 protocols set by the government are followed and are also striving to ensure all workers are vaccinated.
Due to the Covid-19 protocols, the stakeholders under the umbrella of Progressive Welfare Association of Malindi, has been organising monthly clean-ups in hotels, business premises in the town, estates and beaches.
Speaking in Malindi during this month's clean-up, Phillip Chai, a hotelier and an official of the Progressive Welfare Association of Malindi said they are optimistic that tourism sector will be revived as international charter flights will be coming to Mombasa from next month.
“Malindi and Kilifi are ready to welcome tourists, we have maintained clean beaches, clean town and environment and are ready to welcome visitors to holiday with us and enjoy the tranquility,” he said.
Chai said stakeholders have done their best to maintain Covid-19 protocols and are now in the process of ensuring all hotel employees are vaccinated.
He said they want to ensure all food handlers, staff welcoming clients will have received the vaccine to guarantee safety of guests.
"Lufthansa airlines will begin to fly into Kenya from July while KLM will follow suit from October this year with two flights in a week. This is a sign of the resurrection of tourism. We welcome the move which I believe will create jobs,” he said.
Other flights expected include the Ethiopian airlines that fly from Italy to Mombasa and the Turkish airline.
This year, he said, tourists will have a new tourism escapade after thousands of turtles hatched from nests that are within the marine protected areas.
Chai said when turtles are ready to lay again, they will come back to the shores and it will be a major tourist attraction.
“This is a major event, we are appealing even to the domestic tourists to come and see what Malindi has to offer,” he said.
Kilifi county beach operators chairman Justin Kitsao who led colleagues in cleaning the beach area said Malindi has been an international tourism destination but had a challenge of cleanliness.
He said Malindi has now transformed from the once dirty town into a beautiful resort city due to the combined efforts initiated by PWAM.
“As beach operators, hoteliers and all others who depend on the sector, we are optimistic that next month up to August when the tourism season begins, Malindi will attract tourists due to the cleanliness,” he said.
Pili Kadzo of the Baharini Women Beach operators Malindi said they are prepared to receive guests as they have maintained cleanliness.
“Residents wear masks, we are sensitising our people to keep physical and social distance, the aim is to ensure we reduce the spread of the virus so that business resumes as the effects were serious,” she said.
Carlos Dume, safari seller, said they expect tourism activities to resume from next month and urged both domestic and foreign tourists to visit Malindi.
“We have maintained cleanliness in the beaches, and are following the Covid-19 pandemic protocols, we urge visitors to come,” he said.
Baharini Women Group Malindi chairperson Consolata Ogutu said since March last year, they have had challenges in the tourism sector.
“We ask tourists to come so that women can do business and be able to support their families,” she said.
Ogutu also called on the government to support the operators with incentives to start their businesses afresh as their businesses were affected.
Conrad Masinde, a resident from Lamalindina flats area, said they teamed up with children to clean up the area which also has hotels to ensure children learn to live in a clean environment.
-Edited by SKanyara