Local and foreign tourists gather in Mombasa to usher in the new year

Fireworks lit the sky at various beach hotels and entertainment joints at the Coastal tourist resort city, where hundreds had gathered for a vigil to usher in the New Year 2021.

For a moment, all the troubles and burdens of 2020 seemed to have been forgotten as Kenyans interacted freely regardless of one’s tribe, religion or political affiliation.

At exactly two hours to midnight, spectacular displays of fireworks lit up the sky, screaming and shouting rent the air as Kenyans and foreign tourists celebrated together.

At Travellers Beach hotel, a magnificent display of fireworks colored the sky as thousands of excited local and international holidaymakers hugged and made merry to welcome the long awaited New Year.

Traveller’s beach resort General Manager Hilary Siele said due they have managed to close the year with bed occupancy of 70 percent with a high percentage being local tourists.

Siele said they cannot predict for industry in the beginning of the New Year yet but they are hoping the new comprehensive stimulus package which was unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta to rescue the country’s ailing tourism sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic will jump start the tourism sector.

The Head of state announced a string of measures to bail out businesses of which tourism prominently featured being one of the country’s major economy drivers where a whopping 53.7 billion shillings economic stimulus package was announced to cushion citizens from the financial stress occasioned by the pandemic.

The GM said from January this year the hotel is going to rely on the domestic market and conference tourism up to March where there is hope from the international market to bounce back and resume international charter planes.

Ms Pamela Short from the UK said she has frequented the country for the last 20 years for Christmas and New Year holiday because of its warm hospitality.

Julius Muli, a local tourist from upcountry urged hoteliers to introduce a special package for domestic markets in order to woo domestic tourists following the crushing effects of the covid-19 pandemic.


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