Local hoteliers led by Kenya Coast Hoteliers Working Group Chair, Mr. Hasnain Noorani have applauded the Kenyan Government’s plan to order 24 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines worth Ksh. 10 billion from Gavi Alliance.

The vaccines are expected to be delivered in Kenya early next year. Players in the hotel industry hope they will be among the first beneficiaries of the vaccine. The industry has been hard hit by the pandemic leading to mass closures of hotels.

“These promising developments on the vaccine front have sparked optimism to hoteliers that the pandemic’s end may be in sight. But if the market trends that immediately followed positive vaccine news are any indication, hospitality and travel industry sectors in Kenya and beyond will benefit a lot more than others,” said Mr. Hasnain Noorani, Managing Director for PrideInn Hotel Group

On her end, Farzana Zahir, Sales and Marketing Director PrideInn Hotels, said, “The travel and hospitality sectors have been among the hardest hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but news on the COVID-19 vaccines showing high efficacy rates in their clinical trials has lifted hopes for the hospitality and travel industry recovery.”

On the onset of the pandemic in March, the travel and hospitality industries were among the sectors most immediately and severely hit. Several travel related companies went through layoffs in the weeks and months to follow.

“The government’s willingness to procure and administer 24 million doses of the vaccine which is expected in Kenya in January is good news for local hospitality industry which had been severely affected,” added Ms. Farzana Zahir

This festive season, bookings especially from domestic tourists have hiked, contrary to what was expected, below 15 percent occupancy.

Up until July when lockdown was lifted, PrideInn has seen an average of 10 percent to 15 percent growth in bookings. With the increase in bookings, distribution of the people is traveling is different. Industries like health care, manufacturing and are making up a greater proportion of travel.