2014 was a hard year for tourism in Kenya. There were terrorist attacks, evacuation orders from foreign countries and a number of other disheartening factors that caused the industry to hit an all time low. Tourism and complementary business did pick up during the just ended holiday season, but now the country needs to keep the performance of the industry on an upward streak.
The country is still struggling to market itself as a safe destination for holiday and business, to attract tourists and business people from other countries. And it is indeed safe. There have been no major security issues for a while now.
Several stakeholders, properties and tourist destinations are opting to charge lower rates in an effort to attract more people, especially locals. In Kenya and East Africa as a whole, the travel market is most lucrative during holiday seasons especially the festive season towards the end of the year, and that is when tourism in Kenya picked up a bit last year. But now there a need to maintain the boost and increase market. Some properties have opted to charge unseasonally low rates until the easter season and some airlines such as Kenya airlines are also following suit. Kenya airlines recently released a statement to this effect, saying,
“ In a bid to kick start 2015, AIRKENYA has made the decision to bring forward the LOW SEASON fares to 15th January 2015. What this means is that the Low season fares which normally take effect from 1st April – 30th June 2015, will instead start as soon as 15th Jan – 30th June 2015.
We hope our gesture will go a long way towards improving your sales, packages, circuits into Kenya’s finest locations, especially this time of the year when Kenya’s weather is; hot with lots of sunshine everywhere!
The High Season operational Schedule/Timetable remains in place until 31st March 2015”.
Beach hotels, safari resorts, and lodges are looking for ways to increase their market and right now massive advertising and lower charges seem to be the chosen methods.
The effects of this arrangement are yet to be seen, but progress will be closely monitored to see whet changes need to be made. Stakeholders are of course eagerly waiting for the 2014 statistics report so they can react accordingly. The pressure is on for the Kenya tourism board to get that data to the Kenya tourism stakeholders as soon as possible.
All in all we are fervently hoping that 2015 will be a much better year for tourism in Kenya than 2014 which was quite painful.