NAIROBI, Kenya December 10 – Coastal hotels experience boom this Christmas season with most full bookings including the iconic Diani Reef Resort and Spa which has come back to life after a low season characterized by COVID travel restrictions -19.
International and domestic tourists have always preferred Diani as their top vacation destination, which is why most South Coast hotels are fully booked.
Businesses also preferred to hold most conferences on the South Coast, where hotels reported booming activity.
“Currently we have a lot of conferences and for the Christmas season we are fully booked,” said Bobby Kamani, General Manager of Diani Reef Resort and Spa.
Diani’s pristine white sand beaches remain a favorite spot for vacationers, having been voted Africa’s top beach destination for the fifth time in a row since 2015.
The area is known for its coral reefs, black and white colobus monkeys, and is close to Shimba Hills National Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary that overlooks the Indian Ocean.
Diani Beach also has several gourmet restaurants, hotels, supermarkets as well as high-end shopping malls.
As for the Diani Reef Resort and Spa, it holds the prestigious prize for the best spa resort in Africa in 2015 and the first beach resort in Kenya in 2015, awarded by the prestigious World Travel Awards – Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa.
Bobby said 80 percent of the resort’s guests are local while 20 percent are international tourists.
According to Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala, Kenya launching of the North American market to increase its international tourist traffic and accelerate the recovery of the sector.
Balala said the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel industry and called for concerted efforts to alleviate it even as travel resumes.
“With most people in the United States and greater Europe vaccinated, there is now a strong urge for travelers to venture out and see the world. As North Americans consider traveling to Africa on their next major vacation, there is an opportunity to create greater interest in travel to Kenya, ”said Balala.
The United States has traditionally been Kenya’s primary source of tourism. The market recorded the highest arrivals in Kenya with 108,072 visitors representing 16.3% of total arrivals between January and October 2021.
Kenya enjoys non-stop access from the market with weekly flights from JFK Airport to Nairobi scheduled by Kenya Airways from December 2021.
Airline access remains essential to the growth of the sector, with several carriers offering a one-stop-shop.
Sam Ikwaye, executive director of the Coastal Branch of the Kenya Hotel and Catering Association (KAHC), told Capital Business that the coastal region is performing well with an average occupancy of 70%, which is expected to improve. as the holiday season approaches.
Ikwaye attributes this good performance to aggressive marketing, attractive hotel packages and the fact that most establishments have vaccinated their staff and are following Covid-19 protocols.
In Nairobi, hospitality industry players said they were optimistic about the future of the conference industry as they expect more conferences to be held in Nairobi starting next year, upon completion of the Westlands-JKIA Expressway.
Speaking at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, PrideInn Azure CEO Adatya Mata said the infrastructure would be a big boost to the hospitality industry that had been upgraded. knees by the covid -19 pandemic by reducing travel time and making Nairobi more attractive.
“The upcoming infrastructure will make Nairobi an exciting place for local and international conferences and tourists. This will complete the business and leisure cycle as they will have the chance to enjoy Nairobi’s cultural, leisure and wildlife products, ”Adatya said.