April 23, 2021

Amend the visa law to allow longer stay, hoteliers plead

Diani Reef Beach Resort managing director Bobby Kamani flanked by Resort manager, Jotham Mwang’ombe, (right) and Public Relation Officer Alex Owiti (left) looking at the construction plan for the new renovations on August 14, 2019, Kwale County Image: Courtesy


Coastal based hoteliers want the national government to amend the visa expiry period to enable tourists to prolong their stay and boost the tourism sector in Kenya.

In a press briefing at Ukunda, Diani Reef Beach Resort on August 14, 2019, the managing director Bobby Kamani said the government should at least adjust visa expiry date to six months so that hotels could reap huge benefits from foreign retirees who come to spend their free time in the country.

“I think the three months period inconvenience our visitors and I know it stresses them since they have to go and come back whereas if we double the period it could be much better for revenue turn over,” he said.

Diani Reef Beach Resort managing Director Bobby Kamani addressing the media at Ukunda on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, in Kwale County
Image: Courtesy

Early this year, the hoteliers, through the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and Tourism, had appealed to the government to recheck visa restrictions but to date they have received no response.

The MD indicated that the hotel’s construction was underway to increase 257 VIPs new rooms so as to expand its accommodation sector to host more tourists in high season.

“We are now renovating and adding 114 from the previous 143 rooms which should be ready by December,” he said adding that this should be enough to accommodate tourists who flock the coastal beaches.

According to him the hotels contribute a lot on environmental conservation from tree planting to beach cleaning but the biggest challenge remains in the transformation of plastic to glass bottles which pose a great concern to visitors who mostly questions the bottle’s brand.

The side view of the award-winning Diani Reef Beach Resort, Kwale County, in the tourism industry
Image: Courtesy

The hotels’ surroundings have been planted with many trees while the seafronts cleaned to preserve the pristine white sand beaches along the seashore.

“In another part where guests are used to plastic bottles which they have for years known the companies and water sources giving them water using the glassy ones becomes a challenge,” he added.

However, Mr Kamani called upon other stakeholders to assist in environment conservation saying that hotels were in no position of upholding the requirements alone without the assistance of state agencies.

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