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Obama tour a boost for ailing hotel industry

21 July 2015, 08:13 John Kioko

Mombasa - A section of hotels in Diani town, Kwale County have registered increased bookings mainly from Nairobians who have fled the interruptions expected during Barack Obama's visit.

“Though we do not have specific groups that we can associate with Obama, we have people from Nairobi who have booked for this week and we expect to have a rise from 100 to 150 visitors,” said Leopard Beach resort resident Manager, Joan Ndung’u.

At Lotfa resort by the end of last week, guests from Nairobi had gone up by 30 percent, with the hotel’s financial controller Ali Bashir noting that that was an indication of good economic times.

Bashir noted that the bookings might also increase as Obama's visit draws near.

“Most people do not want to be stuck and thus see this as an opportunity to come and sample out what the Coastal region has to offer in terms of tourist attraction. This will also catapult our current economic status. Apart from Nairobi people, we also expect foreigners to visit,” added Bashir.

Read Also: Obama’s visit to boost Kenya-US partnership

At Indian Ocean Beach resort, the General Manager Anne Safari had just bidden goodbye to 14 Norwegians and was optimistic to also capitalize on Obama's trip.

“We have hopes of getting a share of the guests. Though we haven’t received bookings, we know Kenyans usually have the last minute rush,” said Safari.

An American only identified as Mike is also one of the visitors who told the press that he could not make it to Nairobi with the hustle and bustle associated with Obama.

“Back home (US), there is no such kind of frenzy and therefore will come down to Coast to avoid the dull and tense life that will characterize Nairobi,” said Mike.

And to get a share of the domestic market, Leopard beach resort introduced a Brazilian eating culture that will be done every Saturday.

“The travel advisories have shown us that we also need to rely on our local market and that is why from now henceforth, we will be allowing even the locals to come in and not only have a taste of the Brazilian culture but also buy a drink or swim,” said the Resident Manager Ms. Ndung’u.

The Brazilian night has of late gained a lot of popularity in Kenya, which entails serving a customer with an assortment of different cuts of meat.

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