Walker Mwandoto @PeopleDailyKe
Hoteliers in North Coast recorded booming business during the Christmas and New year holidays with 70 per cent of guests being local tourists.
According to stakeholders, many Kenyan holiday-makers from upcountry preferred Mombasa, Mtwapa, Kilifi, Watamu and Malindi tourist resorts with beaches and entertainment spots crowded with revellers.
Jacaranda Hotels at Watamu, for instance, with a capacity of 450 guests was fully booked. General manager Daniela Tirito termed the festive season a big success.
Fully booked “We are working with two local tour operators who have helped us get many local tourists to our hotel. We also have reservations by private guests through our website,” he said.
“The way we see it, domestic tourism is the future of the industry as the Italian market is becoming challenging…in the next three to four years it will be finished and the only alternative will be the locals,” said Tirito at the weekend.
“We did not expect such a huge number of local residents to come to our hotel. We have 350 rooms, with an extra 12 apartments and 15 villas, all of which are full. Other guests who have booked in here include a few from Germany, Denmark and USA,” said the manager.
At African Dada Resort in Malindi, which targets local tourists, the proprietor Ahmed Hassan said his establishment was fully booked since Christmas up to mid-January.
“Business is good, despite previous insecurity and travel advisories by Western countries. We are 100 per cent booked, 95 per cent of them from Kilifi, Lamu and Nairobi,” he said.