Hoteliers are now pegging business revival on end of curfew after one and a half years of dry spell. Industry players have described the move by President as a sigh of relief for the sector reeling under the effects of Covid-19.
“The lifting of the curfew on Mashujaa Day by President Uhuru Kenyatta has come as a reprieve for many businesses and especially those in tourism and hospitality sector. Since the introduction of the curfew one-and-a-half years ago to contain the spread of Covid-19, the hospitality sector was forced to operate for fewer hours losing millions of shillings,”
said Farzana Zahir, PrideInn Hotels Sales & Marketing Director.
Kenya’s hospitality industry has been hit hard by severe restrictions on operations that began in March, leaving the city suffering widespread unemployment, where about 3.1 million jobs were severely affected.
“The decision to impose night curfew from 10pm to 4 am came as a big blow to the hospitality sector, with owners of hospitality establishments and bars worrying not only about their business but also about the future of employees, most of whom were recalled after Covid-19 cases started dropping significantly earlier this year,”
It has been two years of real hard times for all businesses. The tourism industry has suffered the most with most hotels forced to shut down operations or cut down on the workforce
“As 2021 started, we saw a growth of 15%-20% in sales figures. However, from late March, the growth started dipping due to the new waves of coronavirus. upon extension of night curfew business dropped by 70-75%,”
said Jackton Amutala, PrideInn Hotels Business Development Director.
Mr. Noorani, Group Managing Director PrideInn Hotels, said that the decision was long overdue adding that prolonged curfew had more harm than benefits.
“All hotel owners were in a fix, we were yet to recover losses incurred last year and having the curfew regulations in place meant hotels couldn’t operate at optimum levels ,”
He added that customers are now visiting hotels, restaurants and pubs as they feel safe when they see that Covid-19 protocols are being followed.
“When customers themselves see social distancing and other protocols being strictly followed, they appreciate it and come back again as they feel confident about the safety of the place”