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Kenya: Hotels Shift Gears With Eyes on Local Tourists

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A jump in Covid-19 cases coupled with minimal hope of getting international visitors has forced hotels to shift gears targeting the local market with special packages.

Hotels in Diani, Taita Taveta, Malindi, Lamu and Mombasa have all cut their prices with hope of catching the eye of locals.

Southern Palms Beach Resort Managing Director Mahmoud Elda said the Diani-based hotel has slashed boarding costs by half alongside other offers.

“Our rooms are now going for half the rates to match and attract the domestic tourists. Right now, we are trying to woo local businesses because we have no choice. We believe the domestic tourism will support the market,” said Mr Elda.

According to Salt Lick and Taita Lodges General Manager Willy Mwadilo, delay in recovery of international tourism is their main headache.

“Our target market is local. We cannot continue being ambitious with our rates because people do not have that money,” he said.

Mr Mwadilo who is also the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Tsavo and Amboseli Chairperson, said he remains positive despite a resurgence in coronavirus.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said hoteliers should see the need to remodel their business strategies in order to attract local tourists to remain afloat.

In an interview with the Nation KTB public relations and corporate manager Wausa Walya, said this year has been hard due to massive cancellations and travel restrictions by different countries. “We should turn this pandemic into an opportunity for Kenyans to rediscover what their country offers in terms of tourism and unique destinations such as Lamu,” Ms Walya said.