In Summary
  • Political utterances and protests have hampered investor confidence.
  • Hoteliers warned that if the situation persists, hotels will shut down for lack of customers and hundreds of workers will be rendered jobless.
  • Car Importers Association of Kenya chairman Peter Otieno said  motor vehicle sales had declined  by 60 per cent.
  • Kwale Matatu Owners Association chairman Joseph Wambua said daily collections have remained low.

The political crisis in the country has adversely affected businesses, including car importation and hospitality sectors, and also eroded investor confidence at the coast.

Players in the three main sectors driving the region’s economy said the hardline stance by politicians from the two rival camps will create more confusion as the country heads to the October 26 repeat presidential poll. 

They urged President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee) and opposition leader Raila Odinga (Nasa) to hold talks to save the situation.

Kenya Association of Hotel keepers and Caterers Coast branch executive Sam Ikwaye said political rhetoric and the ongoing anti-Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) protests spearheaded by the opposition were destroying Kenya’s credibility as a tourist destination.

“Bad politics is not good for tourism and a volatile environment is not conducive for tourists, hence affecting the industry.

PROTESTS

Political utterances and protests have hampered investor confidence. Tourists are withholding their money until the environment is safe,” said Mr Ikwaye.

Speaking to the Nation, the hotelier warned that if the situation persists, hotels will shut down for lack of customers and hundreds of workers will be rendered jobless.

Mr Ikwaye said some hotels have experienced cancellation of bookings, especially conferences, adding that domestic tourism is also on the verge of collapse.

He said the region was gearing up for the high peak travel season but the political uncertainty will negatively affect it.

“Kenya risks being slapped with travel advisories if the demos continue. Farmers will also be affected because they will have no market or hotel to supply their produce. My advice to Kenyans is to stop giving politicians credibility,” he said. Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry official Rukia Rashid said traders were worried.

 “Will we have a country in the next two weeks? The demonstrations are worsening the situation. We need peace,” she said.

SALES DECLINED

Car Importers Association of Kenya chairman Peter Otieno said  motor vehicle sales had declined  by 60 per cent.

“September, October, November and December is always a high peak season for our business. Some 15,000 plus vehicles can be imported in the month of December alone but right now Kenyans are not buying vehicles,” he said.

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