Several hotels in Kenya’s Coastal resort towns are already fully booked thanks to the long Easter holiday which begins on Good Friday.
The Easter bookings have been bolstered by domestic tourism in the wake of the April school holidays.
A spot check by the Nation established that local bookings are at 80 per cent while the rest are from regional and international markets.
Majority of the tourists expected to flock to the Coast are from Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Thika.
In Mombasa, Travellers Beach Hotel Marketing Manager Wafula Waswa said the facility is fully booked by both local and international holidaymakers.
“Currently, our hotel is fully booked. We expect 80 per cent of locals to come and celebrate Easter here in Mombasa.
“Other guests are coming from Germany and the United Kingdom while some are from Uganda and Rwanda,” he said.
Mr Wafula said the 2017 Easter bookings are better compared to the previous year.
He attributed the surge to Mombasa being safe for holiday after the government addressed security concerns raised by overseas markets.
In Diani, Baobab Beach Resort General Manager Silvester Mbandi said the hotel is fully booked for the Easter festivities.
He attributed the impressive bookings to the school holidays, the beauty of Diani beach and the warm weather which has attracted sun-seekers from Europe.
Mr Mbandi said that the hotel received bookings from various parts of the country and neighbouring countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
“We will also host some guests from Asian countries of China and Korea as well as from European countries,” he added.
In the Mombasa tourism hub, PrideInn Beach Resort General Manager Imtyaz Mirza said the hotel had registered 95 per cent bookings for the Easter festivities.
However, he added that during the holiday, the resort is expected to be packed to capacity as bookings are still trickling in ahead of the long vacation.
“Most of the bookings are from the domestic market as well as from neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi,” Mr Mirza said.
“Tourists from the landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi prefer Mombasa for leisure due to the beach product and swimming in the sea,” he explained.
In the South Coast, Diani Reef Beach Resort Managing Director Bobby Kamani said the hotel had registered 80 per cent bookings for Easter.
He added that the hotel is expected to be full during the Easter celebrations.
“During Easter, we shall host guests from across the East Atrfrican region as well as from the continents of Europe and Asia,” Mr Kamani said.
LAMUIn Lamu, Kijani House Hotel proprietor Pierre Oberson said the hotel had 70 per cent bookings for the holiday, adding that he expects more tourists to book before Good Friday.
He noted that the hotel had received Easter bookings from the domestic market and international markets including France, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.
Heritage Hotels CEO Mohamed Hersi said Voyager Beach Resort in Mombasa had recorded 80 per cent guest numbers for the holiday.
“More than 50 per cent of the bookings are from the domestic market mainly from Nairobi. We thank local holidaymakers for supporting the industry in Mombasa,” he said.
Sai Rock Beach Hotel General Manager Robert Kiri said they have 70 per cent bookings for Easter, but he expects a full house during the festivities.
Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye said Easter bookings for hotels in Mombasa and Diani averaged between 70 and 100 per cent.
However, he added that bookings for hotels in Malindi and Watamu were averaging at between 40 and 60 per cent due to low number of international visitors.
Credit:By Mathias Ringa, Daily Nation