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Diani Festival boosts tourism in South Coast

Hoteliers in South Coast have this festive season recorded high numbers of tourists, with the on-going Diani Festival further boosting the industry.

This comes soon after tourism fortunes across the country declined over the last three months due to prolonged political affairs in the country. Most hotels are this time round fully booked, with over 85 per cent bed occupancy.

The Diani Festival, which commenced last weekend and ends on January 10 with all the guests accommodated in the different tourist hotels within Diani, will be a major boost. At the Leopard Beach Resort, residence manager Joan Ndirangu says they are currently running at 90 per cent bed occupancy, but during the Christmas and New Year holidays, they will be fully booked.

We are getting good business because of the festival,” she said. Majority of the tourists at the resort are domestic, with most being Kenyans from the Diaspora who have opted to come back home for the holidays.

“We have a balanced number of international and domestic tourists in our hotels unlike last year when most of them were local guests,” she said.

Swahili Beach Hotel is currently operating at 97 per cent, but by Christmas, they are also going to be fully booked until January 3. Guest Relations Manager, Naomi Mwahaki, says most of the governors from the 47 counties who will be attending the Council of Governors (COG) meeting this week in Diani were not able to get accommodation at Swahili Beach.

“It has been a slow period for business due to the endless politics, but at least the Diani Beach Festival has worked out very well,” she said.

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