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Hoteliers Optimistic of Business Revival

by Wanjiku Mbugua

A decrease in COVID – 19 cases and the gradual opening of the hotels post lockdown has brought a ray of hope for the hospitality industry in Kenya. Although very low on occupancy currently, hoteliers are optimistic that the domestic market and other segments will gradually pave the way for business.

“Kenya’s domestic tourism market is strong and that is a key factor in the industry’s recovery. Outbound travel will be minimal and discretionary, and travelers will prefer places easily accessible. So, overall, domestic business driven by the leisure segment, followed by events will recover faster than any other segment. Business travel will resume slowly and gradually in the second phase,” said Hasnain Noorani, Kenya Coast Hoteliers working group Chair.

Newly acquired PrideInn Azure in Westlands, Nairobi hopes for an improved business in the month of September till the end of the year necessitated by international flights as well as relation of meetings and gathering rules.

“With Covid -19 numbers slowly declining and events now allowed to host 100 participants, we are hopeful that business will improve. We are focusing on corporate meetings, travelers stays as well as the weddings and social events segment for the coming months,” Farzana Zahir, Sales and Marketing Director PrideInn Group.

Weddings and social events

Weddings on a smaller scale including social events are certainly making business remain afloat as occupancy rates are low and conferences are rare.

“With Covid 19 situation, couples are avoiding going abroad for destination weddings and even holding mega wedding as per government directives, hence the industry is hopeful of many weddings on smaller scales to happen within our facilities, focusing on the safety and hygiene factor as the most important priority. We too, are witnessing an encouraging response on the events and socials front,” added Farzana.

In Mombasa, PrideInn Beach resorts also see good business prospects from these segments.

“We are, in fact, targeting beach social events and weddings in a focused manner. We managed to secure quite a few weddings in August and have a constant stream of incoming queries for this last quarter of 2020. This is now the time for ‘intimate beach weddings and honeymoons’ that will replace the ‘big Kenyan weddings’ where hotels can play the perfect host with appropriate venues and an elevated event experience possible with a small gathering as directed by the government,” said Ann Peggy, General Manager for PrideInn Paradise Beach resort, Shanzu.

PrideInn Paradise has also been proactive in reaching out to the social segment and communicate their preparedness in hosting special events in accordance to the new guidelines.

“We are equipped to deliver engaging, meaningful and tailor-made experiences keeping in mind the safety of our guests and associates. We are offering an all-inclusive ‘Intimate events package’ at an attractive price point. Our proposition has been well received in the market and we are optimistic about the times to come,” added Peggy.

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