Kisumu hotels fully booked as Africities summit starts

Conference has created a huge business opportunity for hotels which were hardest hit by negative effects of Covid-19

In Summary
  • The summit begins on Tuesday to Saturday.
  • About 10,000 delegates are expected to attend.
Mirage Palace hotel in Kisumu. The 105 bed capacity is fully booked.
MAURICE ALAL Mirage Palace hotel in Kisumu. The 105 bed capacity is fully booked.

Hotels in Kisumu county and its environs are reaping big as most of them are fully booked while others are near full occupancy ahead of the Africities summit.

The summit begins on Tuesday to Saturday. About 10,000 delegates are expected to attend the summit to be held at Jomo Kenyatta International stadium in Mamboleo, Kisumu.

The guests started to land in Kisumu from Saturday with majority expected on Monday and Tuesday.

A spot check in some of the hotels indicated full occupancy. Mirage Palace hotel with 105 bed capacity and located within the City’s Central Business District is 100 per cent booked.

The hotel has three category of rooms such as deluxe, superior deluxe and VIP. It has ultra-modern conference rooms and boardroom as well as a rooftop terrace that serves as snack bar.

Hotel sales and marketing manager Sharon Wachira said they are fully prepared to ensure guests enjoy services to their expectation.

“We have trained our staff in terms of different cultures and menus and languages since last year. We have also equipped our hotel and rooms to required standards,” Wachira said.

She said Mirage is strategically located as gives guests opportunity to enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Victoria and the city.

The hotel has three floors, on the ground, a part from the reception, there is a comfortable lounge where you can sit and drink tea or just read,” Wachira said.

The sales manager said they have given consideration to the culture of the visitors who have booked their premise.

“We are expecting clients from Cote de’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and we have gone further to see their culture and dishes they like,” she said.

Wachira said they have also lined up various activities for the whole week the guests will be in the hotel.

“From Wednesday, we will have a cultural night and introduce different cuisine and on Thursday there will be throwback and relax,” she added.

On Friday and Saturday, the hotel will encourage their guests to go out in Kisumu to sample the night life.

Wachira said they have contracted Diego Tours and Safaris for transport services and help in identifying the most scenic sites in Kisumu for clients.

Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o lauded Mirage Hotel CEO Abdul Aziz for massive investment in the county despite the Covid-19 pandemic that affected the economy.

Parkview Hotel in Milimani with a 42-bed capacity, was 80 per cent booked on Sunday with guests from Togo, Senegal and Mozambique.

Hotel manager Robinson Anyal who is also the Lake Victoria Tourism Association chairman said they expect the hotel to be fully booked by Monday. 

He said they have heightened security at the hotel in collaboration with police. “We screened all the guests upon arrival at the hotel,” Anyal said.

The hotel has adjusted the menus to cater for all the guests. 

“We have also stocked our bar with preference drinks of all our clients. We also have in places various entertaining events for the guests,” Anyal said.

At the Takeover hotel and restaurant in Tom Mboya , the 40 bed capacity was 80 per cent booked.

Hotel manager Bush Guya said they have put measures in place to ensure their guests get the best services. They have a wide variety of dishes.

Guya said they have organised an effective transport system to ensure visitors are picked from the airport to hotel and various destinations to ensure their safety.

Anyal said top hotels, the three and four stars, are fully booked from a week ago. They include Acacia Premier, Sarova Imperial, Ciala resort, Grand Swiss Royal, Best Western.

He said hotels in other categories have 90 per cent occupancy.

By Monday, Anyal said the hotels will be fully booked and those within the 10 kilometres radius will start getting business overflow.

Some of the notable hotels which are near full occupancy are Pinecone and Joventure.

He said they are giving priority to hotels which were accredited by the Tourism Regulatory Authority.

Anyal said the summit has created a huge business opportunity for hotels which were hardest hit by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said those in the transport sector are also poised to benefit hugely especially tours and safaris and taxi operators. Taxi operators are going to benefit from pickups from airports to hotels and local tourism sites.

He said the Lake Victoria Tourism Association has designed packages that allow day tours of tourism sites for the guests attending the summit.

“The hotels have designed packages for entertaining especially at night,” Anyal added.

The chairman lauded the summit saying such events make recovery for hotels possible especially from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need more of the events to fasten recovery. Most hotels were forced to send workers home due to the impacts of the coronavirus which negatively affected the industry,” Anyal said.


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