Western Kenya hoteliers bank on domestic visitors

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 18:36 |
Western Circuit Tourism stakeholders follow proceedings in a meeting held at a Kisumu hotel last month. Photo/PD/DANIEL OGENDO

Hospitality players in Western Kenya are confident the region will post good business this festive season especially from the domestic tourism front.

Kisumu’s Wigot gardens General Manager Phelix Owiti says the region’s hoteliers anticipate to cash in on festive season activities.

These include holiday travel, family get-together, end-of the-year parties and group (chamas and churches) retreats and meetings as the year-ends.

The town has registered increased volumes of conference business going this month, contrary to the expectations of hoteliers given last years’ performance.

“We expect to pick up gradually with a lot of domestic tourism activities as the festive season gets to its peaks,” Owiti said. 

He said his facility has already received high bookings for the period between December 20 and 31, 50 per cent by individual guests and families coming to celebrate Christmas and New Year. “Kisumu is turning to be a holiday destination too,” said Owiti.

So far, the hotel manager states that from a spot check other hotels in the region are equally receiving enhanced bookings and confirmations prior to the festivities.

Western Kenya Hospitality leaders’ Association chairman Robinson Anyal projects that hoteliers within the circuit will record increased business compared to last year due to the prevailing peace in the country.

He says as opposed to last month when the hotels were thriving on conferences, demand is shifting to bookings for leisure business ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“We expect end-year events such as team building activities, family get-together, weddings and parties to dominate the month of December.

Anyal also foresees improved business performance for the hoteliers particularly in the domestic tourism component. 

“We expect our hotels to do better than last year in terms of business performance.

The increased business would be as a result of marketing activities we have been holding through the association to try and drive the leisure business,” he adds.

 “Most of our hotels have been riding on conference business as the year is coming to an end. We expect the scenario to be replaced by a beehive of leisure activities this festive month,” says Anyal.

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