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Kisumu hotel bed occupancy sinks below 20pc over political anxiety

Kisumu hotels have bore the brunt of political demonstrations that have sometimes turned violent with fatalities recorded.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Kisumu city has been the hardest hit in terms of business tourism losses in the last three months.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers CEO Mike Macharia says Kisumu has had a bed occupancy of below 20 percent.

Macharia says Nairobi and Mombasa hotels have also been hit, attributing the poor performance in the sector to the prolonged electioneering period which has affected the business tourism segment the most.

“These three cities have been the worst hit by the ongoing elections; this is in spite of the fact that they attract the most business tourism opportunities in Kenya. In October, we usually have a bed occupancy of about 60 percent, but now these cities are all under 30 percent with Kisumu being the hardest hit,” Macharia said.

He, however, added that other tourism circuits such as the Safari segment have not been affected by the election as there’s a sense of safety associated with them.

“Maasai Mara, Tsavo and Samburu have not been affected,” he explained.

As of last year, the tourism sector in the country was expected to grow by 10 percent, a feat it achieved this August despite the general elections; however, with the Supreme Court ordering a repeat of the presidential poll, these gains have so far been lost.

“The August elections were very peaceful which instilled confidence among investors and tourists, but with the repeat elections and the demonstrations that have accompanied the season, we have sadly been losing these gains,” Macharia said.

He was speaking during the announcement of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding tariffs and payment methods for the background use of musical work, sound recordings and audiovisual works.

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