Under the Kenya Association of Hoteliers and Catering (KAHC), the members will discussing matters related to pricing, security, sustainability and infrastructural developments under the theme, Sustainable Tourism for Development:
“This symposium would not have come at a better time. South Coast has suffered for the longest time because of lack of proper infrastructure to attract tourist. The issue of expediting the Dongo-Kundu bypass and the upgrading the Ukunda Airport are key to us in creating the appetite for both domestic and international tourists to visit the South Coast and experience the phenomenon white sand beaches and sky diving activities, said Bobby Kamani, Managing Director, Diani Reef Beach Resort.
On the other hand, Kamani joined the members of KAHC in applauding the SGR infrastructure that has now helped reduce the hours spent on the road to access the coastal region.
He noted that the railway will help in boosting the domestic tourism by three-folds on year on year basis:
“As hoteliers, we believe that the SGR will boost domestic tourism significantly. It used to take eight hours by road to access the coastal region but now it only takes four and half hours. This is a significant reprieve for investors and holidaymakers. We expect to see much more bookings after the elections as we prepare for the December holidays.”
Najib Balala, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, P.S Tourism Hon.Fatma Hersi and Kwale County Governor, Salim Mvurya, will grace the two-day symposium.
As part of its strategy, Mr.Kamani said the hotel is currently focusing on conference tourism to compliment the traditional destination tourism in order to diversify its products and services:
“Last year, Kenya hosted major conferences including TICAD and UNCTAD.Because of the strategic and geographical location of our country; this gives an edge to hosting more international conferences. Therefore, Diani Reef is following suit to offer the same product to ensure visitors have an opportunity to enjoy the touristic sites as well as transact business in more relaxed and conducive manner.”
In addition, despite the tough economic times, in April this year, the hotel introduced a new model for saving for holiday called the Easy Pay plan.
This is a saving model to allow holidaymakers save for their vacation ahead of the peak seasons in April, August and December.