Kenya’s hospitality industry is on a recovery trajectory with the latest survey by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) showing that hotels are reporting increased booking from foreign clientele.
The research, which was carried out in November shows that the share of foreign clientele in hotels has continued to increase, taking 24.5 percent and 23.6 percent of the accommodation and restaurant services, respectively.
“Hotels average bookings increased in November compared to September, with Mombasa hotels reporting the highest levels of bookings of over 70 percent,” the Monetary Policy Committee Survey notes in part.
Following the lifting of most Covid-19 containment measures as well as the ramp-up of the vaccination program, an estimated 25 percent of hotels in Kenya expect to attain normal (pre- COVID) levels of operations this year while 35 percent expect to normalize operations next year.
Surveyed hotels reported the highest levels of average bed occupancy and use of restaurants and conference services in November since the onset of the pandemic.
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” On average, the utilization of conferencing services improved to 40 percent in November compared to 27 percent in September,” the study notes in part.
Subsequently, employment levels in the sector improved last month to 78 percent of the pre-COVID-19 levels, the study shows.
The rise in job numbers is the highest level of employment recorded since March 2020, reflecting the continued recovery of the sector from the economic fallout sparked by the pandemic.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the pandemic led to a reduction in the number of formal employees in the hospitality industry by 38.7 percent to 51,500 in 2020 from 82,900 reported two years ago.
In the six months to June this year, the sector contracted by 31.1 percent compared to a 31.6 percent drop in a similar period in 2020, indicating the impact of the containment measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The CBK survey was administered to the chief executives, managing directors, owners, and senior employees of roughly 70 hotel enterprises spread across key cities in Kenya.