Nairobi — Local hotel chain, PrideInn has started preparations in readiness to reopen their hotels in Nairobi and Mombasa to the local guests. This comes as the government outlined an economic stimulus program to help in fixing the unfolding economic crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Plans are underway for reopening our hotel facilities to visitors starting mid-June or as soon as cessations are lifted. Business won't be as usual, we have already made changes to our standard operating procedures in accordance to the rules provided by the Ministry of Health since we have to maintain social distancing, frequent sanitization and ensure safety of both our guests and our staff," said Hasnain Noorani, PrideInn Hotels Managing Director.
"We are through with the renovations and maintenance activities that we had initiated in some of the Nairobi and Mombasa hotels. We have also intensively sanitized and disinfected all our hotel facilities and restaurants that had suspended operations over the coronavirus pandemic, what is remaining are some minor repairs which will be through by the end of this week," he added.
Noorani said the hotel group is taking a collaborative approach, working with other key hospitality stakeholders to come up with new operating measures that are in line with government and ministry of health guidelines.
"Now that we are ready to reopen, we need to get it right from the beginning. We are having involving our staff in intensive trainings on the new operating procedures that have to be observed at all times and in all our 9 hotels. These are what we are calling the new normal," said Noorani.
Kenya is currently free from foreign tourists since the country suspended flights in March to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Local hotels have utilized this Covid-19 times to renovate.
Victor Shitakha, Chairman Kenya Coast Tourism Association said they are encouraging hoteliers to take extraordinary measures to make guests feel comfortable coming back to hotels and local attractions though it depends on the pandemic situation and guidelines given.
"We anticipate domestic tourism will start to recover before international tourism. At the same time, tourism for leisure will rebound faster than business travel. We expect to see some growth in the next few months once movement ban is lifted, though international tourism will only really start recovering in 2021," said Shitakha who is also General Manager for PrideInn Flamingo.
Kenya's suspension of international passenger flights in March was accompanied by closure many hotels due to lack of clients, which led to a shutdown of the tourism sector that accounts for up to 15 percent of Kenya's gross domestic product (GDP).