The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) conducted a Survey of Hotels between May 11 and 13, 2021, to assess the extent of recovery of the sector, particularly following the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the country and the consequent imposition of zoned lockdowns in Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado and Machakos counties. In addition, sale of alcohol was banned while the restaurant services were restricted to take-away services only, in the five counties. These restrictions were lifted on May 1, following a reduction in infection rates in the country.
The Key takeaways from the 2021 CBK Hotels Survey for May included:
- The proportion of sampled hotels in operations stands at 94 percent compared to 81 percent in April, and 98 percent in March. This reflects the impact of the COVID-19 containment measures imposed in March 2021, following a surge in infections, and consequent lifting of the containment measures on May 1.
- Employment in the sector declined to 49 percent of pre-COVID levels (February 2020) in April, but recovered to 57 percent in May. Despite this decline, employment remains above the May 2020 levels.
- Average bed occupancy, utilization of restaurants and conference services also improved slightly in May after the decline in April 2021.
- Local guests continued to support activity in the sector during the COVID-19 period, accounting for 84 percent and 85 percent of the total clientele for accommodation and restaurant services, respectively, in May 2021.
- On average, under the prevailing conditions, 18 percent of respondent hotels indicated that they expect to attain normal (pre- COVID) levels of operations in 2021, a drop from the 39 percent in the March Survey.
- Despite the recent surge in COVID-19 infections, respondents were optimistic about a strong recovery of the sector once the pandemic is contained, particularly with the continued rollout of vaccines.
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