Tourism industry in the Coast region reaped big during the December and January holiday as most of the hotels operated at 90 to 100 percent bed occupancy during the period.
Majority of the hotels in Diani including Leopard Beach Resort, Diani Palm Resort and Swahili beach hotel had by 22 December recorded full booking with others almost full to their capacity.
Those who spoke to Coast Times painted a picture of an industry that had recovered from the shocks of a two-year Covid19 tough experience.
At Leopard Beach Resort the hotel had bookings that stretched to January according to the general manager Kioko Musyoki.
“It’s a good season for hotels in the coastal region. We have things that are featured to attract domestic and international markets for people coming for leisure and family enjoying packages” he said.
He said Kenyans have decided to support the tourism industry adding that is something the hoteliers are proud of.
“For the first time since Covid19 hit this industry we have recorded good bookings for example our hotel was booked from 22 December to January,” he said.
60 percent of the guests, he said, were domestic tourist’s especially Kenyans who have developed an interest in holiday making in the area while the rest were foreign visitors.
“It is very encouraging to see Kenyans coming out to support this industry. The domestic market is the future of tourism in this country,” he said.
The long school holiday ensured that hotels remain booked until January 2023 with some receiving guests as from 5th January.
“The school calendar has helped the hotel industry because we have people who booked for January holiday from 5 January 2023 and many visitors chose January,” added Kioko.
At Diani Palm Resort the situation was the same according to general manager John Kivuva who was impressed to receive good booking despite opening the hotel a few days before the Christmas holiday.
“You can imagine before charistmas we had 70 per cent booking because our hotel can accommodate about 100 for our 51 rooms,” he told Coast Times.
Swahili Beach Resort general manager Joab Andayi, said that the hotel industry experienced good bookings adding that construction of the Mvindeni Lotfa road is a game changer in terms of movement.
“For visitors from Diani who want to go to Mombasa, they now don’t need the congested Diani Road or as they go to Shimoni from hotels. This road network is good for tourism and such partnerships with the county government of Kwale for infrastructural development are very important,” he said.
Pricilla Sailepu, one of the domestic tourists who enjoyed her holiday in Diani said that the region is the best to visit.
“It is a very nice place for a holiday. The Leopard hotel is well positioned for Ocean viewing, the manager and staff are so welcoming. They have nice food all the time and a recommendable place to be for holiday,” she told Coast Times.
Another holiday maker at Diani Palm Resort Mary Mumbe said that she enjoyed her stay adding that services offered at the facility are up to the standard.
“I am a guest here, their services are awesome it is an exciting experience to be here, you will get quality services and value for your money,” she said