Kenya and Tanzania are registering a sharp drop in tourist hotel occupancy after suspension of Kenya Airways’ flights to key European tourist markets and business meetings.
Hotel occupancy in Kenya has fallen to its lowest the past few days in response to Kenyan government’s precaution guidelines to contain the spread of Covid-19 to this African nation.
Kenyan media had reported this week a sharp decline of tourists after suspension of Kenya Airways flights to Italy and other key tourist markets. Cancellation of business meetings had caused slowdown in hotels and the entire tourist industry.
Kenya Airways had canceled its Rome and Geneva flights last week. Nairobi, the leading tourist city in East Africa had observed about 50% drop in tourist hotel occupancy.
Restaurants in Nairobi have switched to offering home delivery services to offset a dip in walk-in clients while setting up sanitary measures and promoting safety distancing to give assurance to clients, Kenyan media reported.
Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) Executive Officer Sam Ikwaye said there is need to start planning for the future of the industry to cushion the investors.
The travel restrictions announced on Sunday will lock out residents of countries that account for 88 percent of foreign travelers to Kenya, hurting Kenya Airways and the wider tourism industry in Kenya, Tanzania and all of East African region.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government was looking to suspend travel from any country with reported Covid -19 cases, adding that the ban will be implemented for at least 30 days.
Making the announcement, President announced that henceforth the government has suspended travel for all persons coming into Kenya from any country with reported Coronavirus cases.
“Only Kenyan Citizens and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come in provided they proceed on self-quarantine or to a government designated quarantine facility,” Kenyatta said.
East African major tourist source markets are connected through Kenya Airways and other tourist facilities in Nairobi.
Kenya Airways remains the leading airline bringing to Tanzania and other East African states, tourists from Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
The airline flies over 88 percent of all tourists to East Africa via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.