Kenya: How Lockdowns Just Before Easter Choked Tourism Recovery

Recovery hopes of millions of people employed in the tourism sector as well as operators during Easter Holidays literally died with the announcement of fresh travel restrictions.

This came at a time when Kenya’s hospitality sector had begun laying post Covid-19 growth strategies to reclaim its position as eastern Africa’ s leading tourism destination.

The plans banked on reopening of borders and international airports in August last year that brought some relief even though overseas visitor numbers were still depressed.

Mara Serengeti ecosystem Hotel Managers Forum Chairman, Mr James Ole Pere, said operators were on a recovery path before the fresh lockdown came knocking on their doors.

Speaking on phone from the world famous Mara, Mr Pere said domestic tourism offered a lifeline to most establishments during the slow return of international tourists, but just after they had completed shopping for food and non-food items ready for Easter came the choking measures.

“Both domestic tourists and international travellers were inconvenienced while making bookings: We spent millions of shillings preparing for these peak seasons. The government should allow people to celebrate while strictly following the protocols,” said Mr Pere who is the Keekorok Lodge manager…

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