Kenyan Tourists Flock to the Country’s Coast

Domestic tourism is on a high in the Coast region thanks to school holidays and Mombasa International Show.

Families from Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu, among other upcountry towns, are flocking to the Coast in the wake of the August school holidays.

Local and international company chief executives, parastatal heads, manufacturers, bankers and farmers have also made bookings in local hotels ahead of the Mombasa International Show, which is expected to kick off on August 31 and end on September 4. President Kibaki is expected to officially open the show.

Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) chairman Mohamed Hersi said domestic tourists are coming to Mombasa and other coastal towns for the August school holidays.

International and local exhibitors, who are expected to showcase their products at the local show, he said, have made early bookings to avoid the rush.

The bookings come at a time when international holidaymakers are also on the increase due to high tourist season.Many foreign tourists on holiday at the Coast, however, have travelled to Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo East and West national parks for game drives.

The migration of wildebeests from Serengeti plains to the Mara has been a major attraction to tourists from various parts of the world.Mr Hersi said: “Hotels across the Coast will be very busy throughout the month, owing to a combination of local and international tourists.

“Traditionally, a large number of domestic tourists stream to the region during August school holidays, and during the international show.”

Travellers Beach Hotel general manager Freddie Kiuru said the hotel had 50 per cent local occupancies as families from Nairobi and other upcountry towns.

Mr Kiuru added that the hotel is expecting full  occupancy from mid month as local bookings were on the rise.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch chairman Titus Kangangi said hotels in Malindi, Watamu, Lamu and the South Coast expect business improvement following the domestic tourism boost.

Moi International Airport manager Yatich Kangugo said charter flights from Europe to Mombasa have soared from 10 per week during May and June to 27 per week since last week.