Mombasa’s five-star hotel, PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort, has reopened to the public after four months closure.
The 244-bed capacity hotel suspended operations on March 30 this year following government’s advice to the public to avoid unnecessary travel and ban on meetings and gatherings to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The closure of the facility affected over 300 staff who are employed permanently and on contract at the hotel, which boasts of the largest convention centre of 2,500 people and safari water-themed Aqua Park.
Speaking during the official opening of the facility, PrideInn Hotels Managing Director Hasnain Noorani said they have already started receiving bookings for the month of August.
“We are currently operating at about 10 per cent bed occupancy. However, we have already started getting booking enquiries and by end of August we are hopeful to be operating at over 70 per cent bed occupancy,” said Noorani.
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PrideInn Paradise lost four major international conferences in the month of April due to the suspension of international flights to Kenya, according to Noorani.
He said they also lost so many bookings that had to be cancelled for April, May, June and July.
“We have lost quite a substantive amount of money due to this pandemic,” he said.
Noorani said once the international flights resume, the national government should embark on vigorous campaigning of the destination.
“The national government should increase the marketing budget for the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB). We need to have a vigorous campaign for the destination,” said Noorani.
He said the government should also allow an open-sky policy for the Moi International Airport Mombasa to allow more scheduled and charter flight to the region.
Lastly, Noorani said the government should reduce the 14 per cent interest on loans to allow more investors to borrow to put up facilities in the country.
“To put up a modern tourists’ facility, you need at least Sh3 billion. However, the 14 per cent interest rate is quite expensive for majority of the investors,” he said.