TPS Serena Hotel Group expects increase in Kenya safari bookings by nearly eight per cent at the end of the first half of the year. The TPS CEO, Mahmud Janmohamed recently told Twende Safari at the hotel group headquarter offices in Nairobi. Safari bookings is on the rise and is a good season for the country’s tourism sector as UK, US, China and India tourists respectively show stronger demand for this particular travel product.
“At the moment, the Kenya safari circuit is looking up and better as we approach the end of the first half of this year despite the elections,” said Janmohamed in an interview with Twende Safari.
But Janmohamed confirmed that Kenya’s traditional European source markets had not yet fully recovered since 2013 after the Westgate militant attacks by al Shabaab.
Tourism is a top hard foreign currency earner in Kenya had sharp improvement in international arrivals and in revenue collection last year but still way below 2011 when visitors hit a record higher than any recent years, setting the highest record benchmark in the country’s tourism sector history.
According to official government statistics, Kenya earned 99.7 billion shillings [$965.15 million] from tourism alone last year, up from 84.6 billion shillings the previous year.
TPS Eastern Africa
TPS Eastern Africa operates a hotel chain of luxury properties in hotels, lodges and tented camps spread across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, using its top brand, Serena. TPS CEO, Janmohamed told us that the hotel chain recently won a contract to manage a new hotel in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo starting next year.
The group returned to profit-making last year after making loses in 2015, with increased earnings from Tanzanian and Ugandan properties. The group will still heavily rely on the two markets as it embarks on massive renovations and upgrading of its main hotel in Nairobi which is a 200-luxury room five star property, currently operating at half its capacity. The investment capital in the renovation project is $24 million to be fully completed in June next year. Similar renovations have been carried out at the group’s hotel in Kampala.
Janmohamed pointed out that the government should consider increasing her tourism marketing budget to attract new source market tourists to avoid over-reliance on traditional European markets.