An hotelier in the South Coast has asked the government to give hoteliers more incentives and improve the infrastructure in the South Coast.
Leopards Beach Resort boss Chris Modigell said the profits have declined over the years with at least six hotels shutting down. Only one hotel has been opened in the last decade.
Speaking at the resort on Sunday, Modigell said this can be reversed by the government funding investors to put up world class hotels.
Modigell said the Diani Beach has potential to be tapped by the government to increase the number of tourists to more than three million a year. He said the incentives will ensure the professional labour force Kenya produces is retained.
"This tells you why today more than 60,000 Kenyans work in hotels in the Gulf areas like Dubai," Modigell, who has over 36 years experience in the industry in said.
"We are exporting our quality labour, our best managers." He said the South Coast, though some roads like the Diani Beach Road have been tarmacked, still needs more investment in infrastructure like street lights and sidewalks to make the South Coast more attractive.
"This is building for yesterday, and not for tomorrow. If you build for tomorrow, you will be inviting small Kenyan entrepreneurs to open up small bars and restaurants instead of giving our visitors the feeling of being sucked in their all-inclusive services," he said.
He said tourists want to get the feeling of what the local communities or environment can offer. He said tourists also need to feel secure while on a night stroll outside the hotels and villas.
Continuous skills development for young and future hoteliers is key to ensuring utmost professionalism and provision of quality services.
"We have to ensure our service provision is at its best and is personalised. We cannot achieve this if we continue sitting on our laurels and relying on untrained manpower in our establishments.
"It is estimated that the industry employs approximately over 400,000 people out of whom almost 70 per cent lack any formal training," he said.
The hotelier said the government can do more about the open sky policy to attract more direct flights to Mombasa in an effort to achieve the Jubilee government's target of over three million tourists in a year.
He said the Coast must attract international brands. This, he said, can be done if the hotels improve their services and infrastructure.