Stakeholders in the Kenyan Tourism industry are counting losses of up to Sh40 billion occassioned by a drastic drop in arrivals, not to mention less 20 per cent occupancy that is a result of recent acts of terrorism in the country.
Speaking at a press conference The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA) said that the issuing of travel advisories by key tourist markets has dealt a big blow to the industry.
“We are going through a hard time. The figure of Sh40 billion is a conservative estimation, the damage is definitely bigger than that if you include all affected income generating ventures,” said Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers national chairman Jaideep Vohra, who is also the managing director of Sarova Hotels.
On his part KUDHEIHA secretary general Albert Njeru said that from the 20 hotels that closed down at the coast, five were in the South Coast while 15 were in the North Coast.
“These are hotels that employ not less than 100 Kenyans each. It is a serious crisis and we could sink deeper if mitigation efforts are not taken immediately,” Mr. Njeru said.
The stakeholders also decried the fact that the government has not allocated the Ksh.200 million to the Kenya Tourism Board for the revival of the industry.
The stakeholders are now demanding that a separate ministry be set up to deal with the issues affecting it adding that with tourism being under the current ministry it was not being given due attention as the minister had too much on her plate.