Kenya: Hotel sector shows full recovery from Covid-19 – Survey

Nairobi – The hospitality industry has been steadily recovering from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, although there is a slight decline as the country heads towards general elections in 7 days.

According to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the recovery rate is attributed to the full reopening of the economy due to the country’s low positivity rate which was 2.8% at the time of the survey.

The survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) between 4th and 15th July 2022 assessed the performance of hotels in Nairobi, Mombasa and other key cities including Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Nyeri, Kisii and Meru.

“Most of these hotels reported full occupancy. However, hotels in the rest of the country reduced activity in July as bed occupancy and conference services fell nationwide at the start of the new fiscal year” , notes the survey.

Mombasa has performed well in terms of bed occupancy as the number of tourists flocking to the coastal city has increased, surpassing pre-Covid-19 figures. A similar trend was also seen in the county capital.

Domestic customers remained the majority users of hotel services such as accommodation and food services, accounting for 60% and 71% of accommodation and food services respectively between June and July 2022.

This is a 4% increase on pre-Covid-19 levels in accommodation and food services which stood at 56% and 67% respectively.

Even though the percentage of foreign customers for accommodation and hotel services has yet to surpass pre-Covid-19 levels, the industry remains optimistic that it will catch up in the future.

“Average forward bookings have increased significantly in Nairobi and Mombasa. Overseas clientele continues to improve to pre-COVID-19 levels. Forward hotel bookings have improved significantly, particularly in Mombasa,” the survey said.

Peter M. Doran