NAIROBI, Kenya, June 19- Mombasa based Reef Hotel has now moved to offer free accommodation in the facility till end of June in order to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Reef Hotel Sales and Marketing Assistant Eunice Thoya said the free stay at the hotel is only available to those who dine in the facility at Sh6,500.  

“We are not having much income as we used to have before so the only way, we can keep this area activite is by allowing clients to pay for food and sleep here for free,” said Thoya.

The free accommodation offer is only active until June 30 but is open for extension should the government extend the cessation of movement in Mombasa, Nairobi.

“In case the lockdown continues we will still extend the offer because we are trying to make people know that we are open,” Thoya added.

The move by the hotel that has a 150-bed capacity reflects how the outbreak of the virus has hammered the industry leaving the players with little to survive on to keep the industry running.

Other hotels such as Sarova in Mombasa has allowed customers wanting to visit the facility to book and pay for the facility in instalments.

“We have made it easier for you to afford and book your holiday. Take advantage by placing a down payment and pay off the balance in installment,” said the hotel in a statement.

Travelers Beach Hotel general manager Hillary Siele said they are now prepared to host clients.

“We have fully complied with the Ministry of Health regulations to ensure social distancing, high standards of hygiene and all other regulations,” said Siele.

The hotels announcement comes at a time when the reduction in travel and tourism industry owing to the coronavirus pandemic has influenced unemployment because major tourism sites are mainly located at the coast of Kenya and a few other upcountry destinations.

According to the Monetary Policy Committee, market perception survey done in May only 19 percent of the hotels have since reopened.

Those surveyed reported zero forward bookings and only 5 percent had forward bookings for the period.

Another 75 percent of the respondents said they are in the process of resuming operations amid slow economic activities witnessed in the country.

Most hotels and restaurants were closed from mid-March, soon after the country recorded its first COVID-19 case.

Onlinecash