ENCOURAGE DOMESTIC TOURISTS

Trade unions should protect hotel staff from offseason sack

Hotel owners lay off their staff during the months when people don't book, which is unfair

In Summary

• Hotel owners should save for the tough times instead of firing their staff when they cannot pay them. 

• Staff could be trained on attracting visitors during the offpeak season. 

Domestic toursits play in the pool at Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel in Mombasa
WORKERS' RIGHTS: Domestic toursits play in the pool at Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel in Mombasa
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

April, August and December are the peak period of the hotel industry at the Coast and upcountry towns.

Hotel owners report full bookings, surprisingly mostly by Kenyans. But come January, May and September, most hotels are empty and owners lay off staff to cut costs. This is immaterial.

Cotu and FKE should protect workers from such harassment. Why don’t owners save for rainy days instead of laying off their workers when times are harder? Alternatively, the workers can be trained like insurance agents who lure and recruit people for the various policies by selling the packages in days.

These people can stay during the offseason for subsidised rates. The packages can include payment in instalments. This will create jobs and employees will not be laid off.