Italian visitors boost tourism

What you need to know:

  • “Some workers in the two tourist towns have resumed work following the reopening of hotels in the resort towns,” he explained
  • Mr Hersi, who is also the Heritage Hotels chief executive officer thanked Ethiopian Airlines for bringing in tourists from Germany, the UK, Austria and Holland to Mombasa.

Some hotel workers who lost their jobs have returned to work after the arrival of Italian tourists in Malindi and Watamu.

On Saturday, about 700 Italian tourists arrived at Moi International Airport from Milan and Roma, giving the ailing sector a much needed boost.
This follows the resumption of charter flights from Italy by Meridiana and Neos airlines.

In April this year, most hotels in Kilifi county temporarily shut down due to the low tourist season and over 3,000 hotel workers were sent home.

But Sunday, the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye termed the resumption of charter flights from Italy to Mombasa as a major boost to tourism.

Back to work

Staff are also back to work to serve the visitors. The high tourist season began on July 15.

“Some workers in the two tourist towns have resumed work following the reopening of hotels in the resort towns,” he explained

Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) chairman Mohamed Hersi termed the arrival of the Italian holidaymakers as plus to the industry. The MCTA official said the Italian tourists would boost occupancy in Malindi and Watamu hotels which have been hit hard by US and Britain advisories.

“We hope that the United Kingdom and the US will lift the travel advisories to help the sector recover,” he added.

Mr Hersi, who is also the Heritage Hotels chief executive officer thanked Ethiopian Airlines for bringing in tourists from Germany, the UK, Austria and Holland to Mombasa.

Tourists flying with Ethiopian Airlines, he added, had cushioned the sector against lack of charter flights from the UK .

“Although we have no charter flights from the UK market, Ethiopian Airlines has supported us to bring in tourists from across Europe,” he said.
“We appeal to Kenya Airways to start flights from London to Mombasa,” he added.

Ashnil Hotels sales and marketing manager Paul Kurgat said the arrival of Italian tourists has improved number of visitors at the Maasai Mara game reserve. He said Ashnil Mara Camp had an occupancy of 90 per cent thanks to holidaymakers from Italy.

Meridiana Airline resumed flights to Mombasa on July 14.

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