Domestic holiday makers boost Kenya’s travel numbers

By Matt Tewhatu

Domestic holiday makers boost Kenya's travel numbersDomestic holiday makers have boosted hotel earnings in Kenya as the festive season really lives up to its name for the local tourism sector, easing concerns over a lower than usual 12 month period.

Hotels in the normally-popular regions of Mombasa, Diani, Kilifi, Watamu and Malindi have seen an explosion in bookings since the middle of December as the hotels approach one of their most popular periods of the year.

It is a welcome change from the mood in the country’s tourism sector over the past two years with a number of issues including visitors worrying about their security seeing a large number of hotels close and thousands of jobs lost in the spiral effect.

Statistics also represent the decrease in visitor numbers with international arrivals dropping by 13.7 percent between January and October and consolidated arrivals for the period ending October 2015 were 628,345 down from 728,128 in 2014.

However, thanks to a huge influx of domestic tourists from Nairobi as well as a slight increase in international visitors during December, most hotels in the tourist parts of Kenya have recorded 90-100 percent occupancy.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye said that it’s been great to see the faith shown in the destination by both locals and international visitors.

“Kenyans have shown a lot of confidence with the Coast”, he said.

“The industry has been busy since December 15. This is expected to continue to next week before schools open.”

A number of a travel advisories that have been in place for the last six months are likely to be lifted after the visit of not only the US President Barack Obama but also the Pope.