Hoteliers Petition Government Over International Events
Nairobi, Saturday 19th February 2022: Hoteliers and hospitality players in the country petition the government to continue pitching for key international events which they say have had a positive impact on Kenya’s economy.
International events, they said, have given them business besides their bigger role of putting the destination on the global map.
“International events hosted in the country have a multiplier effect and as a nation, we are calling on the government to position the country for more events,” says Naivasha’s Sewela Lodge General Manager George Ndung’u.
Kilifi County Beach Operators Association chairman Justin Kitao said the direction that the government has taken to support and partner with the private sector to host international events was positively contributing to the economy of the country.
The hospitality players were reacting to the impact of the 10th edition of East African Rally Classic that ended over the weekend in Watamu, Kilifi County.
“Because of the East African Rally classic, businesses in the hotels, restaurants and beach operations were at its peak, this is a reprieve to us as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that has slowed tourism business,” said the chairman.
Hotels and other hospitality facilities in the rally routes reported brisk business with stakeholders in the sector applauding the government for supporting the pitching of events to come to the country.
The rally attracted 46 rally drivers including Kenyans and countries from across the globe including Europe, Asia, and America. The legendary nine-day rally covered 5,000 Kilometres across 11 counties and over 360 towns in Kenya.
Some of the counties that benefited from the international media limelight because of the rally routes include Nakuru, Laikipia, Kajido, Taita, and Kilifi among others.
Kitao emphasized the importance of the government to continue pitching for such events to be held in the country especially now when most businesses were working towards a full rebound “It is important that we continue having these and more events to ensure that we continually attract acting and showcasing the country,” he added.
Naivasha-based Matteo’s Restaurant proprietor Francesco Checchini termed the rally event as an economic booster at all times, “This is an absolutely important event, and it gives us an opportunity to promote this beautiful country,” he said.
Ocean Sports proprietor Florian Biziere said Kenya was quickly positioning international events as a way of growing the destination to a global limelight
He said the East African Rally classic has helped showcase tourism attractions and kept Kenya top of mind among the travellers.
The hoteliers were speaking in Naivasha and Watamu at the sideline of the East Africa Safari rally classic which kicked off on the 10th of February 2022.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Dr Betty Radier said KTB has strategically identified international events that can be used to position the destination brand for global visibility.
“We are indeed acknowledging the fact that events are boosting our economy, especially on tourism business and we will continue to leverage them to boost our destination,” said the CEO.
She disclosed that Kenya will be hosting the Magical Kenya Open from 3rd to 6th March, providing the destination with an opportunity to enhance its profile as both a tourism and investment destination, . The event will be happening hot in the heels of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open held on 10th to 13th February at the Vipingo Ridge, Baobab course, Kilifi county.
The event brought together 90 international lady golfers from 25 different countries among them US, Britain and Germany.
Kenya will in June be hosting the World Rally Championship (WRC), the second time after Kenya signed a five-year deal to have the event till 2026. The event recorded a comeback last year after a 19-year hiatus