Sep 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

It’s a windfall for home owners, hotels in Vasha as rally drivers vroom

Homeowners, hotels and other businesses in Naivasha are rejoicing at the good news from the Safari Rally.

Organizers of the World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally are expected to spend a whopping $5 billion for the event, with businesses set to generate greater revenue as riders and more fans flock to Naivasha in Nakuru County.

The international event has become a major boost for the tourism sector, said Mr. Njuguna Kamau, a Director of the East African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We expect at least Sh5 billion to be spent here by the end of the four-day event,” he said.

Most hotels have already 100% bookings reported. International visitors booked the facilities more than a month ago, according to David Mwangi, chief of the Nakuru Tourism Association.

“Most of our three and four star hotels in Naivasha are located along the main stretches of the rally -Elementaita Circuit and Maai Mahiu are fully booked,” he said.

“This is a huge boost for the tourism facilities in both Nakuru City and Naivasha. It is what our hospitality industry needs,” added Mr. Mwangi added.

Earlier this week, visitors flocked to Naivasha to prepare for the championships.

At least 11,000 people, most of them spectators from Kenya and around the world, will attend expected at the event. said Mr Mwangi.

The economic boom comes after difficult times in the hospitality industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The foreign drivers and their escort teams and families come from Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

Some of the hotels that were fully booked yesterday are Enashipai Resort and Spa, Sawela Lodge, Naivasha Kongoni Lodge, Lake Naivasha Resort and Lake Naivasha Panorama Park.

Next hotels are also cashing in on oil dealers, food and drink vendors, entertainment venues, and hawkers.

For homeowners who earn big, it’s those with palatial residences. They have set up tents in their homes to welcome visitors, while businessmen get inventive to make money.

For Mercy Rahab, she has turned her home into an Airbnb of sorts. The home sits on a rocky site about two miles from the city of Naivasha and offers renters a bird’s-eye view of Lake Naivasha.

The family also owns an 81-bed mid-level hotel in the city of Naivasha. Rahab said it was “overbooked” during the last event, which forced her to look for new ways to make money from fans.

“Last year was like a tutorial for us course. We learned a lot after failing to accommodate the large number of visitors who flock to Naivasha,” said the businesswoman.

Those who spent the night in the tents of their well-guarded home Spend will range from Sh5,000 (negotiable) for bed and breakfast.

The family have set up 40 tents, hoping to double the number as guest numbers increase. “We’re prepared for any eventuality,” said Rahab.

A live band will entertain guests while the Naivasha hospitality players innovate ways to attract customers.

Similarly, landowners with open spaces in Naivasha rent them out.

A drive along the Moi South Lake Road reveals the changing fortunes of the landowners. The place has become a hive of activity.

A prime landowner seeking anonymity said he leased his property for four days at 2 million shillings a day, equivalent to 8 million shillings for the days , which the revered driver will frolic in the wild.

“Without overheads…we all agree it’s a good deal. Some have questioned the reasons for an open prime hotel asked, but I think their concerns have now been answered,” said the owner with a chuckle.

He said the 20 acres had been booked for the famous Korogo Festival – part of the WRC accredited entertainment center – with neighboring landowners benefiting from the flooding.

Adjacent to the property is another which has been cleared as a car park for the vehicles of Korogo Festival visitors.

” That’s a rosy story for us. Hoteliers have little to complain about as most facilities are fully booked. In fact, the number is high compared to last year,” said Mr. Mwangi.

He confirmed that the companies operating under Airbnb have also seen a high number of visitors, unlike before.

“The facilities provide employment opportunities for graduates, particularly those in the hospitality sector, and as the event takes place during peak season we expect the good news to continue,” said Mr Mwangi

However, he warned Hoteliers before compromising on standards and said officials at the motosport event are very attentive to detail.

“Those tasked with accommodating local and international visitors should ensure that they adhere to required standards when attempting to make the most of profits. As a group we will be monitoring them,” Mr Mwangi said.

Meanwhile, the city of Naivasha remains a hive of activity, with dozens of police officers deployed to provide security and keep people moving.

p>< p>To avoid the gridlock observed last year, the rally organizers created connecting routes that ensure the cars do not pass through the city of Naivasha.