Foreign tourists increase the occupancy rate of local hotels

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Foreign tourists increase the occupancy rate of local hotels


Tourists resting on a beach in Diani. PHOTO FILE | NMG

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Summary

  • The number of foreign customers at hotels increased in September, indicating improving optimism in the industry with the easing of restrictions on international travel.
  • A Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey of hotels shows that accommodation for foreign visitors jumped to 20.5% in September from 19.8% in July.
  • Foreign visitors took 21.1 percent in food services from 18.9 percent.

The number of foreign customers at hotels increased in September, indicating improving optimism in the industry with the easing of restrictions on international travel.

A Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey of hotels shows that accommodation for foreign visitors jumped to 20.5% in September from 19.8% in July.

Foreign visitors took 21.1 percent in food services from 18.9 percent. However, they remain below the levels of the pre-Covid period when accommodation was 38.0 and 31.3% for food services.

Local customers occupied 79.5% of accommodation and 78.9% of food services. Some tourism source markets like the United States and some European countries have relaxed travel restrictions for citizens, supporting entry into the country.

“The survey recorded an improvement in the share of foreign customers in accommodation and food services. This is supported by the continued reduction in international travel restrictions as countries step up vaccination against Covid-19, ”said CBK.

“This is reflected in the number of international tourist arrivals which increased by 15% between July and August 2021. In addition, the U20 athletics world championship has increased the number of foreign customers using hotel services.

Most countries suspended flights at the start of the pandemic last year, ending the industry that depended on international travel.

Data from Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that arrivals via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi Airport fell 19.1% in the six months to June to 235,046 from 290,548 in a similar period last year.

There was a drastic drop in arrivals from April which registered nine visitors, slowly picking up in August with 16,762. This year the monthly average of arrivals is 39,174.

The drop in numbers has pushed hoteliers to incur losses estimated at billions of shillings as they cut operations for months due to a lack of traffic.

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