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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Mombasa Hotels Record High Bookings Over Holiday Season

MOMBASA (Xinhua) — Kenya’s hotels in the tourism resorts of coast region on Friday announced that they had registered high bookings this holiday season.

Most of the hotels are already booked as both local and foreign tourists are flocking to the coastal region this holiday season despite the prolonged political season.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Coast Executive Sam Ikwaye told Xinhua in Mombasa that the destination is doing very well.

“From the start of November many hotels have been doing very well. We have bed occupancy of between 60 and 80 percent currently. This is expected to hit 100 percent by mid-December,” Ikwaye said.

He said initially they were pessimistic that the projection will be appealing because of the prolonged political season that began around February. “We cannot complain because the numbers are really good now,” he said.

Mohammed Hersi, the chairperson of the Kenya Coast Tourists Association and the Chief Executive of Sun Africa Beach Hotel, said they expect a 100 percent hotel booking this December.

He said the international visitors have confidence in the region, given the fact that two Neos charter planes from Italy, the Turkish Airline, Condor Air from Germany and Tui Travels charter plane from Britain are now doing trips to Mombasa.

Neos, Condor Air, Turkish Airline and the Tui Travels charter flights do at least two trips to Mombasa every week, which is good sign of the improving sector that was once on its knees.

“Despite all the political challenges we have had, international visitors still have great faith in Kenya. Mombasa and Kenya Coast is bouncing back,” said Hersi, noting that the Italian market supports Malindi and Watamu in Kilifi County.

A cruise ship, MV Nautica is expected at the port of Mombasa this Saturday. Hersi said that tourism has serious multiplier effect on the country’s economy.

“Cruise tourism is also building up slowly and we are happy that the planned new terminal at the port of Mombasa is now at about 70 percent complete,” he said.

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