09-03-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
In Kenya, as in much of the world, not only in the West, we have not had time to enjoy the pandemic that has led to the reopening of travel and the easing of life restrictions, and we now have to deal with a war that is not very reassuring.
While, on the one hand, local tourist destinations have had a clear and auspicious recovery since the beginning of the year, with the icing on the cake of the reopening of Italian tourism to travel to Africa, on the other, uncertainty has arisen regarding the evolution of a situation that is worrying both in the immediate term and in the long term. Thus, for example, expressions of interest for the Easter period are not being transformed into bookings and it is very likely that decisions will take the form of "last minute", as is now customary.
This does not concern only the vacations of Italians, who, to be honest, have never been marked in an important way on Easter, especially when it is so high after the second half of April, but also those of other foreigners and even Kenyans, who are usually inclined to spend their holidays outside the big cities.
For the coastal resorts, meanwhile, we must record the defection of Russians and Ukrainians, who represented a discrete weekly quota of tourists, especially with the direct charter lines from Kiev to Mombasa. Involved a dozen hotels between Mombasa and Diani, while the Russians, taking advantage of connections with Germany and Prague, arrived also in Watamu and Malindi.
Ukrainian charters closed their flights two weeks ago, while Russian tourism cancelled many bookings. On the other hand, the line connecting the Czech Republic with Mombasa continues to operate. In recent days, the flow from Poland has also decreased drastically and, although distributed throughout Kenya and in the order of a few hundred per week, the sum of all these unexpected absences from Eastern Europe, which makes the strength of many hotels and small structures especially in low season months, becomes a significant loss in percentage.
In the meantime, airfares are expected to rise due to the oil crisis and inflation resulting from the economic blockades that the war proclaimed by Moscow is causing.
The outlook is not good at the moment and only a stop to the brutality perpetrated by Putin's army and peace talks will be able to restore a situation that for too long has lacked the trappings of normality and freedom of movement and enjoyment of life for all.
by Freddie del Curatolo
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