Kenya: Hotel, Tourism Sectors in the Woods as Covid-19 Bites

Kenya: Hotel, Tourism Sectors in the Woods as Covid-19 Bites

Driving into the Sankara Nairobi, one easily notices that the main entrance is locked, even though the five-star hotel re-opened way back in September.

Guests use a smaller side gate to access the hotel since it shut down for more than five months in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that was first reported in the country in March last year.

“We are operating just one wing of the hotel since reopening, one was closed down. And even then, we are operating at between 15 and 20 per cent capacity, down from the former 65 per cent annual average,” Krishna Unni, the Sankara Group general manager, said in an interview Tuesday.

At the coast, Kenya’s tourism hub, prominent hotels such as Crystal Bay, Seven Islands, Kola Beach, Jacaranda Beach, Kilili Baharini, Amani Tiwi, and Malindi Dream Garden remain closed. Others such as Severin Sea Lodge say they are not receiving guests as they are under repair. Some of the beach hotels opened in December to serve revellers in the festive month but closed by January 5 after bookings dried up, as global travel restrictions continue to weigh heavily on the tourism sector.

230,000 employees out of work

The Covid-19 pandemic has put at least 230,000 employees in the hotel and tourism industry out of work, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

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