Why over 10 high end hotels in Coast have shut down within days

Over 1,000 hotel staff have already been rendered jobless.

Thousands of hotel staff in Malindi and Watamu risk losing their jobs due to poor business over the Easter period with some hotels shutting down due to lack of customers.

This is according to the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) Kilifi County branch which held that the two towns are preparing for tough times.

Over 10 hotels in the two coastal towns were shut down after Easter with 1,000 of more than 3,000 workers being rendered jobless.

“Currently, 300 permanent workers have been declared redundant while contracts of the rest have not been renewed,” said the Kudheiha Kilifi County branch head, Mr. Michael Yaa.

On the other hand, hotels in Mombasa are lucky enough given that they are the reliant on conference tourism to stay in business.

Malindi and Watamu have always been dependent on Italian and German tourists so as to stay afloat in the tourism business but the number has seen a sharp decline since the 2007 PEV and terrorist attacks.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Kilifi County branch said that most businesses, which used to shut down temporarily during the low season then reopen, may be forced to shut down for good as they have been operating at a loss for years.

A KAHC official also added that the situation could change if Malindi Airport is expanded to accommodate bigger aircraft.

This would tourists fly directly from Italy to Malindi as opposed to from Europe to Nairobi then connecting to Mombasa.

The general decrease in the number of tourists has also been attributed to the upcoming general election which is seeing hoteliers scale down their operations over uncertainty of the outcome.

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