97% of hotels are now open, compared to 96% in November 2020 and 35% in April.
When Covid-19 hit Kenya, many sectors were affected. Specifically, the hotel sector was hit hard. Almost all major hotels shut down. The government had imposed a cessation of movement that stopped people flying in and out of the country.
The number of visitors arriving in Kenya dropped by more than 86 percent. This meant that all hotels that relied on tourists to survive were on the brink of collapsing. The putting in place of the curfew also meant few working hours as compared to before.
But the Central Bank of Kenya says the sector is booming. The Survey of hotels and flower farms by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) conducted between January 13 and 15, showed continued recovery from the disruptions in April and May.
In particular, 97 percent of the respondent hotels are now open, compared to 96 percent in November 2020 and 35 percent in April, with continued re-engagement of employees particularly during the festive season in December.
Average bed occupancy was reported at 26 percent in December 2020, compared to 11 percent in April. All respondent flower farms indicated that they are now operational, while employment and export orders for flowers have improved and are now close to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Respondents also indicated that orders for flower exports over the next four months are expected to remain strong, but with a risk of potential disruptions from a tightening of COVID-19 containment measures in key markets.
As hotels shut down in 2020, many people lost their jobs. Some were forced to work at a reduced salary while others were sent on unpaid leave. The government released a stimulus package for the hotel sector but to date, most say they never received a penny.