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Favourable outlook for Kenyan hotels

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – General Manager of Fairmont Mt Kenya Phillip Cauviere is expressing optimism that the tourism industry should soon pick up from the slow start it experienced at the beginning of 2009.

Mr Cauviere has said that though hotels and lodges within the country have faced a slow half year attributable to the post election crisis of early 2008 and the global economic crunch, things are looking up.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the 50 the anniversary of the Mt Kenya safari Club, Mr Cauviere told Capital Business in an exclusive interview that the hotel has been recording bed occupancy rates of between 25 and 30 percent.

“I think all the lodges in Kenya have been experiencing these difficulties but we are seeing it starting to pick up and we are expecting better numbers July to September,” he said.

The Hotel General Manager expressed optimism that the country would pick up as a favoured tourism destination, characteristic of its previous recovery track record.

The Mt Kenya Safari Club has been undergoing renovations for the last few years and only fully re-opened all its rooms to the public in December 2008.

Meanwhile, Sarova Group Marketing Manager Peter Waweru is urging players in the tourism industry not to lay off their staff despite the harsh economic times.

Mr Waweru suggested investment in training as a sure way to cushion companies from the ravaging effects of the global downturn.

“Development of skills and retention of talent is such a huge investment for organisations and I don’t think that anyone should want to give up their greatest asset just because times are hard,” he said.

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Speaking to Capital Business News, Mr Waweru recommended that the industry comes up with innovative ways to retain their employees.

He observed that laying off employees could bring down standards of service and consequently erode the expected gains from the retrenchment exercise.

Mr Waweru suggested strategies like continuous training programmes and cutting down on unnecessary costs, which could assist players in the industry to survive the hard times.

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