For many years, Kenya’s tourism industry has relied on foreign travellers, offering only beach and Safari experiences to grow its revenues. However, with the outbreak of Covid-19, travel restrictions mean that hotels are now vacant, leading to losses in excess of Sh80 billion, not to mention thousands of jobless workers.
This period provides a valuable benchmark on how reliance on the international market can bring an industry to a halt, and it should start conversations on future tourism decisions.
It is time to look beyond the big five, the wilderness and foreign visitors, and seriously woo domestic as well as regional tourists.
But this can only happen if hoteliers start treating Kenyan and African vacationers right and if the pricing is fair. In a global crisis that has impacted every country, looking inward will pay off in the long run.
Travel experiences are related to perceptions of risk, so even when international flights resume, many older people will still experience travel anxiety.
It is important, therefore, that hoteliers consider reducing prices for domestic travellers in the initial stages, and also come to terms with the reality that this will not taint their international appeal.
Tourism contributes 10 percent of the annual economic output and employs over two million people, therefore it must remain innovative to be profitable and sustainable.
it is important for establishments to market their offerings through targeted advertising and marketing.