Kenya’s hospitality sector expects swift recovery after elections blues is over


While the ‘who is who’ of Kenya’s tourism industry is wrapping up their participation in the world’s greatest tourism fair, ITB Berlin, have a number of them expressed their confidence that the depressed room occupancies, as a result of the elections being held back home, will now swiftly recover that the outcome has been announced and peace prevailed across the country.

While one of the losers, unlike 6 others who peacefully conceded defeat, is now set to go to court, this is not thought to have any further influence on the mainstream tourism operators abroad, who have been monitoring events keenly and are now ready to resume their ‘regular supply’ of tourists being sent to the Kenyan safari parks and the sunny beaches of Mombasa, Watamu, Malindi and Diani.

It was an unfortunate timing for us that our elections fell into the ITB period but we were able to answer all questions thrown at us. We were able to show that peace prevailed, we had streaming content from NTV and Citizen TV on our lap tops to show how things went back home and I think we convinced our partners that there is nothing to worry about. The fact one of the contestants is going to court will not make a difference because the main issue was peaceful conduct of elections and during the counting of votes. I think our institutions are stronger than ever before, security is kept up and tourists are welcome to take advantage of some phantastic offers our key stakeholders have put together between now and Easter and for the low season. We are very confident that this will be a good year for us after all. We have major conferences heading to Kenya and when a new government is in place you will see that tourism is getting a bigger share of resources. After all, our new President Elect was once the chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board and has firsthand experience of what it takes to make the sector a success. He knows what tourism can accomplish for Kenya’s economy in regard of jobs and foreign investment and foreign exchange earnings. Unlike all past presidents, President Elect Kenyatta knows about tourism and his mother owns resorts at the coast. We are confident that tourism will be playing not just a bigger role but also finally make the quantum leap into the new century we have been waiting for’ said a regular contributor in a mail exchange late yesterday after reading the article filed about the election outcome.

Others commented that now was the time to get back to work after a successful participation in ITB where East Africa showcased the 5 member countries within one East African area, giving an overview of the attractions the region holds for visitors from abroad.