Majority of hotels reopen after Covid-19 curbs easing

More than 90 percent of hotels had resumed services by last month, betting on the phased reopening of the economy that is anticipated to drive back customers to the facilities.

A Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey shows that 91 percent of the hotels outside Nairobi were open last month, coinciding with the resumption of domestic and international flights and easing of measures on gatherings.

In the Nairobi metropolitan area, 86 percent of hotels had resumed operations.

At the height of the Covid-19 restriction measures in April and May, the percentage of open facilities fell to 43 percent in Nairobi and 27 percent in the rest of the country, leading to loss of thousands of jobs in the hospitality sector that is among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hotel occupancy rates in March fell to 24 percent from 51 percent the previous month as the Covid-19 restrictions on movement and mass gatherings hit the economy.

Kenya on Monday allowed bars to reopen and shortened the curfew hours to between 11pm and 4am in the second phase of the gradual re-opening of the economy which is set to boost demand for services in the hospitality sector.

“In August, there was the return of the flights and aside from that, 99 percent of the guests in the hotels were local and that is very interesting,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge in a post-monetary policy committee meeting briefing on Wednesday.

While the CBK is yet to release the report on the forward booking trends for November, Dr Njoroge said that the hospitality industry is fast responding to second easing of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Source: Business Daily Newspaper.

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