Tourism and travel business in Post Covid19 will not be easy but opportunities abound

On 31st December 2019 like any end year the world erupted in fireworks as we saw off 2019 to usher in a new year and quite special one for that matter with identical numbers of 2020. The last time such a year was observed was over a century ago as the world marked a year after the end of the First World War in 1919. Globally we were all very positive and we looked forward to a great year both in business and travel trade so was Kenya and East Africa.

That same day as families gathered around to see off 2019, in far flung China in Wuhan capital city of Hubei province something strange was going on which ordinarily would not have been considered anything unusual. The Chinese authorities had made a report to W.H.O offices in China of a new type of coronavirus which was finally isolated on 7 January 2020. We finally came to know it as Covid19 which is Corona Virus December 2019. China has had its fair share of virus outbreaks thanks to all the wet markets but they have always managed to keep it under control but this time round it was not going to be the case.

We saw off 2019 to usher in a new year
quite special one for that matter with identical numbers of 2020.

Little did we know that in less than 100 days our lives would completely change from Antigua to Zimbabwe, from Fiji to Alaska from the North Pole to the South Pole entire globe way of life would be disrupted . The virus moved swiftly faster than a savanna wild bush fire across. Thanks to ease of air travel it spread so fast that the world was left shell shocked. It reached Europe where Italy and Spain bore the brunt of deaths followed by UK and USA. The virus checked in into each and every country and the few who claimed to be virus free was mainly due to lack of testing as opposed to real absence of the virus. Within few weeks virus had landed on each and every continent. It was now official Covid19 was on even terrorists took a break.

The impact of the deadly virus was fast and furious , first to suffer was travel where unimaginable events started to happen with nations closing their airspace and airline announcing flights cancellations as nations started to evacuate their citizens from all corners of the world to go back home. Hotels suddenly emptied and as holiday makers cut short their stays while forward bookings were left in abeyance.

The virus checked in into each and every country. The few who claimed to be virus free was mainly due to lack of testing as opposed to real absence of the virus.

As I write this piece close to four months after the official announcement of Covid19 at a wet market in Wuhan the global disruption to trade not to mention tourism has been staggering. All passenger airlines are grounded and suddenly aircraft parking space became a challenge and in some cases some aircrafts took up parking slots meant for cars. On the other hand 90% of hotels and resorts around the world closed shop a scenario never ever seen before let alone ever imagined. The world is still shell shocked as we try to come to terms with new terminologies like social distancing, isolation, contact tracing, quarantine and wearing of masks which is now considered the new normal and now part of our wardrobe until further notice.

Within few weeks virus had landed on each and every continent. It was now official Covid19 was on even terrorists took a break.

While medics around the world continue to battle the virus and scientists race against time to develop a vaccine how will Post Covid-19 travel look like?

Trust me it will be one tedious journey. It will be time consuming and a lot of things we took for granted will have to change. Any tourism player who thinks that we will simply go back to our usual normal world of pre Dec 31st 2019 is grossly mistaken. It will be a whole new world that is now referred to as New Normal. Travel and tourism will turn out to be expensive in the beginning more so before a vaccine or treatment is found. Travel will only be for the brave and those with deep pockets.

How will the new world of tourism look like?

While historically yellow fever certificate made us pull hair, just imagine a Covid-19 free certificate. While you may have the certificate you may be tested before you board and once you arrive at your destination you are again tested at the airport before you are allowed final entry. Imagine a family of 4 where one of them turns positive? Very few people would have the mental strength to deal with such uncertainties in the short to mid-term especially after the isolation, job losses and other mental strains they have undergone. The world will be faced with a terrified populace.

International travel would take longer and people will opt for shorter trips within their own countries which are simpler to avoid Covid-19 tests and can be booked in advance or last minute. This is real and presents a danger that we need to be weary of as East Africans. Our source market of UK, Europe like Italy and Spain, USA have all borne the brunt of the virus. It will take them a long time before they gain the confidence of flying out to another country let alone another continent.

While a vaccine may help to reduce the post Covid-19 troubles but treatment is the ultimate solution. In the absence of a treatment which has to be both affordable and available it means borders will be opened and closed in a flash. The paranoia of governments and border patrols will outweigh the needs of a few to have a vacation. Several countries are already taking bills to their parliament to bar their nationals from flying abroad for remaining part of 2020. They are adopting a wait and see attitude. Therefore we could be seeing opening and closing of countries, airports and borders for a period of time. With concerns of second and third waves of the virus governments will not be too eager and quick to open their countries and welcome foreign travellers in.

Airlines bring in tourists and with depressed air travel tourism will struggle to bounce back. Air travel cost is dictated by volumes and for a while air travel will go back to the sixties and seventies mode where air travel was for the elite and only a small segment will afford to take to the skies.

A vaccine may help to reduce the post Covid-19 troubles but
treatment is the ultimate solution

East Africa as a destination, I am afraid only a vaccine and treatment will allow long haul charters to resume more so for the beach destination of Zanzibar and Mombasa ( Kenya Coast ). Charters are mass market and where every seat not sold means lost margin for the charter operator. If airlines are to operate at 50% capacity it will prove to be very expensive and that will be one nail into the coffin of charter business. The same shall apply even on local flights, last minute hops will no longer be affordable with aircrafts flying at half capacity as much as you are all masked. Filling the aircraft with 6 to 9 adults in one row will disappear for some time as airlines are forced to implement social distancing in the air. It will mean higher prices for tickets and this will carve a niche for those with disposable income and likely to be the upper and upper middle class which is a relative proportion of the travellers that visit East Africa.

In the international market the era of jumping into an aircraft and heading off in less than seven days will be gone. Couples, families and other travellers will think numerous times prior to booking the trip due to the uncertainty prevailing across the world.

Many of our potential clients will have been furloughed and others will have been made redundant. Holidays will be the last thing on their mind. Financial woes will be priority and governments will reduce the support measures, meaning everyone have to support themselves. With economies depressed, it will take time for those without work to secure income and consider travel. We will emerge with complete uncertainty and unknown as to what the future will hold. What was the norm will no longer be the norm with people thinking about holidays. Priority will be welfare, source of income and many will still be dealing with the loss of loved ones they never even managed to see on their death beds as they battled the virus let alone lay them to rest.

Virtual Meetings

In this Covid19 crisis the world discovered that virtual meeting indeed works. In new normal don’t be surprised to see conference and meetings becoming a reserve for local players while international delegates will join via the myriad video conferencing channels. It means hotels and resort as venues must invest in state of the art video conferencing equipment backed by strong reliable bandwidth to stream the conference without the frequent annoying buffering.

Fancy Buffets & Mass Dinning
Will have to take a time out

Hotel dining will have to change in the short term where social distancing will have to be practiced. It means buffet and mass food display will be gone for a while to avoid the risk of infection where a serving spoon is handled by many diners at a hotel buffet set up. In the short term expect pre-plated food taking place of buffets and in room dining becoming more popular with breakfast and dinner. This will mean higher labour cost for hotels while a substantial investment will also be required in hardware not to mention the staff training to handle quality reliable in room dining. The resorts and hotels that continue with buffet set ups means level of hygiene will be upped to give confidence to any diner that chance of infection is not only reduced but next to zero.

For those who dare book a safari be prepared for masked guests and driver guides. At every lodge where they check in they better be prepared for thermometer temperature checks and constant sanitization where nothing is left to chance. In reality going on safari will be one of the most therapeutic treatments after all the stressful lengthy lockdowns. Due to the pain of arranging for travel don’t be surprised to get lengthy stays hence the correct pricing and attractive pricing will also play out. Africa lodges and camps can easily replace the cruise ship holidays that will be considered to carry a higher risk due to the nature of enclosed shared services, that will only happen if we reinvent ourselves.

Ease of booking and cancelation policy will dictate future travel and immediate recovery. Travellers will only take the risk of travel when they are pretty sure that they can cancel with no penalties and if there is penalty then it is reasonable amount as opposed to complete loss of their funds like what used to happen in the pre-covid19 good times. The destination that choose to be flexible are the ones the ones that will bounce back. Rigid destination will take a very long time to recover and if they are not careful will be slowly writing their obituary.

In reality going on safari will be one of the most therapeutic treatments after all the stressful lengthy lockdowns. African lodges and camps can easily replace the cruise ship holidays that will be considered to carry a higher risk due to the nature of enclosed shared services.

The next 18 months will not be easy. Survival will be crucial in the short to mid-term 6 to 12 months. It is said “ it is NOT what happened to you that matters it is how you respond to it that matters most”. We shall overcome, but how long it will take and what we will need to do to survive is the million dollar question.

Domestic tourism will start to come back first, followed by regional travel hence Africa must make it easy for our people to travel within the continent. Europe has done well because of the open borders and free visa between the 23 Schengen states same goes for the GCC member states. Africa is still closed and it is even easier for an international visitor to enter Africa as opposed to a fellow African. Open borders must also be supported by a working and efficient aviation sector.

African countries have never been great in running airlines save for Ethiopian airlines. I hope and pray that South African Airways SAA gets out of ICU while my very own Kenya Airways KQ also finds its way out of High Dependency unit (HDU) so to speak. With the likes of RwandAir, Tanzania Airways and Uganda Airways all taking to the skies we pray and hope they stay healthy in the air to make the intra Africa travel a reality. Aviation is expensive business which requires serious financial discipline and good governance which sadly is alien to Africa hence African countries must consider merging their airlines to create a few well run airlines in the new normal post-covid19 .

While hotel investors have management agreement with known leading hotel chains it is high time African countries tapped into the expertise and staying power of Ethiopia Airlines who are the undisputed kings of African skies. They fly shoulder to shoulder with well-established global brands. Ethiopian Airlines (74) is tried and tested and it is the oldest airline in Africa even older than British Airways (46) and Lufthansa (67), Singapore (48) Emirates (35) and Kenya Airways (43).

It is high time African countries tapped into the expertise and staying power of Ethiopia Airlines who are the undisputed kings of African skies.

We should not shy off to tap into skills of Ethiopian airlines by signing lease and management agreements with them. Africa does not have the luxury of time in post –covid19 and it is no time for African countries to pretend that they can run an airline when they could not do it for more than half a century since independence. Let Ethiopian connect the African continent and we all give them all freedom rights while each country will then focus on domestic flights where Ethiopian will again help each country to set up domestic airlines to sharpen their competitive age. Imagine for once the bulk purchasing power of Africa from an aviation point of view. What is the use of flying to some far flung country only to make a loss and seek frequent state bailouts. To massage our egos that we own an airline is pretty useless when an airline turns out to be a bottom less pit where good money is lost after bad money year in year out.

On the international scene as a destination be it Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda or Rwanda our strategy for recovery needs to be focussed on mid to long term considering the state of the world post Covid-19. We cannot expect a quick recovery and we will compete against hundreds of other destinations 110 + destination as a minimum where many of them receive government funding and support. We therefore need to have a cautious approach as to what we plan for the future in terms of rates, conditions and these will help define our return back to relative volumes. It will be a long road and we must work closely together as partners with give and take in the hope that we return to our strong volumes of the past.

Mohammed Hersi


Kenya Tourism Federation and Group Director Of Operations Pollmans Tours & Safaris . Kenya .


Cut Melinda Gates some slack , direct that anger to our thieving hands in Africa

Folks I finally managed to watch the clip where Melinda talks about Africa and the covid19 crisis . It is a long interview but a clip is embedded here .

I was initially upset but listening to her again and again I just don’t think she is wishing Africa death.

She is worried about the folks in the slums , where social distancing is an alien term where running water is non existent. Melinda has been to more slums in Africa than many of us .

The Gates foundation have supported many charities across Africa including my own Kenya . Bill Gates has played a big role in fighting malaria and polio in Africa and he succeeded in doing that . I am a Rotarian and he is our main donor who has helped us defeat polio and that is a fact that cannot be wished away .

Folks I wish we could get upset as much with the thieving leaders in Africa who deny the masses the benefits of the taxes we pay.

This morning in the Daily Nation paper Bungoma county paid Ksh10,000 $100 for liquid soap that costs Ksh1400 $14 and paid cash Ksh 6.9M. Now those are the shameless thieving hands we ought to be upset about NOT Melinda who is only expressing her worries and she is entitled to it.

How will our own dying in the slums going to help the bank balance of Gates foundation ?

God willing we will not see mass deaths like Ecuador but fact remains we stole the money that was meant to fix our healthcare system. Right here we are on record buying overpriced useless containers and then buying expensive health equipment that are rotting and gathering dust . African leaders used to fly out at the slightest hint of illness not anymore . We are stuck here together.

Let’s turn our anger there NOT Melinda .

As Africans we must be candid with ourselves. When we get called out we are quick to play the racial card. We are very quick to play victim on how the colonialist raped Africa . Folks we have been in charge of our lives for the past six decades. Time to cut out the excuses.

It is a fact that have failed the vulnerable in society and suddenly Covid19 has levelled the playing field and none of us is immune.

Right here in Kenya we have more MP’s and senators than ICU beds even if we added the ones in private hospitals as well. As Africans we must get our priorities right . Any attempt to play racial card sounds like a broken record . Please it is about time we got sincere with ourselves.

Tupambane Na Hali Yetu

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa. Kenya

Dear Kenyan MP, please come back from Utopia

Dear MPs ,

Please get down from your ivory tower and get real.

Firstly as Kenyans we are NOT indebted to you if anything we helped many of you find decent jobs and in addition to that a Mheshimiwa title. Please can you for once think and act like real Mheshimiwas.

Allow me to educate you .

KRA collect taxes and in turn Treasury will then share what has been collected. If you care to read newspapers and follow the news many companies are closing down and export like flowers and horticulture is now dead. Tourism is also dead when no one can come here. Close to 40 hotels have suspended operations including many in Nairobi , most of the lodges closed and coast is not any better. Diaspora cannot send any more bucks , they are also fighting to remain alive and here you are behaving like some spoilt brat.

When businesses that generate taxes that pay your salaries are closed where do you expect money will come from ? Why do you behave so ignorant of what is going on ? If you think I am making a blanket condemnation then I dare you to step out and support the salary reductions, In the absence of that it is clear you are all united in greed and it is high time we called you out.

You have HUGE loans to pay , bla bla bla. Who told you going to parliament is where you buy a palatial home to be paid in under 5 years ? Oh some of you claim that loads of deductions take away your pay. It is clear you choose to live beyond your means . You are breaking the same law you make where an employee should not take home less than a third of their pay. It is now clear why corruption will not end in this country when you live beyond your means.

Even Wanjiku who sent you to that August house has a Fuliza to service and she is dealing with her woes.

Going to parliament or Senate is a calling , it is NOT some get rich quick plan. You should not expect to do all the things you wanted to do in under 5 years that is greed and lack of planning . If that was your intention then you are in the wrong place. Come and join us in the private sector or come run your business and see if it is any easier.

Instead of helping the Executive you are busy digging in on why you cannot take a pay cut.

This Saturday you earn yourself a huge barb, for those of you who my friends as long as you fly with the same flock you are not any better and greed is the common denominator.

Step out and take a paycut only then will you earn back your Mheshimiwa title.

This time we say Shame On You

Mohammed Hersi

If we are to go lockdown let’s give it a human face more so for the urban vulnerable poor.

Dear Fellow Kenyans,

To defeat this global Covid19 crisis we now need to start thinking of lockdown. It is only a matter of when and not if.

For a smooth lockdown we must get a few things right to make it a success more so to help the vulnerable urban poor.

Firstly many of the urban poor have already left Nairobi and big towns for their rural homes. While middle class Kenyans can stock on dry goods and fill their fridges ordinary folks live hand to mouth. They WALK everyday from Kibera.Likoni. Kisauni etc to go to town to earn a daily earning to help them see another day hence the small packaging that many firms developed and dubbed kadogo economy.

Now we are quite good with Nyumba Kumi and this is where Huduma data should come in handy , we should map all the informal settlements and supply them with basic ration and fresh water. The daily needs by our brothers and sisters in these informal settlements is bare minimum. We just need to be considerate and practice some compassion. If GOK with support from private sector , Kenya Red Cross and well wishers worked together we can get them a ration to last them 21 days then another 21 days if need be as we attempt to break the corona infection chain and flatten the curve. We can then give lockdown a human face .

Announcing a lockdown without a plan for these folks we will be playing with fire. It is said a hungry man is an angry man. Let us not get there.

I believe GOK has the financial muscle to do that and as private sector will join in and we will then be good to go for lockdown. Private sector has the distribution network while GOK have the data of the people.

If India a nation of 1.3 Billion people has announced 21days lockdown I believe we can also do it with our 50Million population. Sierra Leone defeated Ebola with a lockdown but they made sure the poor folks also got basic ration to sustain them .

Time is of the essence and we need to move fast to avoid finding ourselves playing catch up.

Finally to my fellow Kenyans if you returned in the last two weeks you should be in self quarantine. This is NOT a holiday . Please stay at home. We have already reported adults who simply don’t care.

To our goverment you will NOT walk alone majority have your back, please don’t relent . You have our full support , The Kenyans who ignore the rules please get firm , tough and ruthless.

Folks Corona is here , it’s fight or flight . We cannot afford the latter we must fight and give it a TKO. I believe we can and as always I choose to remain an optimist.

Mohammed Hersi
Mombasa .

Corona Virus is testing our faith , testing our way of life . It’s disrupting everything.

This was my prayer corner today with a small mat enough for just one , a Friday a big day for Muslims many of us were left to say prayers on our own.

Corona is testing our faith, corona is testing our way of life , corona is disrupting everything .

Mosques started to limit acess to the ablution blocks , we were asked to prepare at home before you get to the mosue to reduce the risk and finally the mosques were closed today . Jamia Mosque in the heart of Nairobi CBD closed two days ago.

Muslim we are expected to pray five times a day , for men it is recommended you go to the mosque and join a congregation on the other hand women are allowed pray at home. Today I was on my own and we could not even join as colleagues at the office so that we comply with social distancing . Folks we are officially in uncharted waters.

According to my faith you are supposed to self isolate if you are suffering from an infectious disease. I believe same applies to other faiths including our strong African culture.

Vatican home to the Catholic faith complied weeks ago while home to my faith Makka has virtually closed down we then have some ” religious leaders ” in Kenya chest thumping that they will not close . Well any such ignorant person is a danger to his followers that is certainly not a Mosque a Church Or Temple that is a cult. Please run away .

While World Health Organisation has virtually written off Africa we may just surprise the world by defeating this virus , please let us surprise the world.

To our CS Mutahi Kagwe Asante Sana for bringing sanity to such a key docket. You have led from the front from Day 1. To GOK keep up the good work . We are together in this .

To my friend Mzee Francis Atwoli Ebs Corona is not a child’s play . Even super powers are running helter skelter. You claim we cant stand a lock down please note we are almost there and maximum respect to Kenyans who are listening to their goverment . Last evening I walked into City Mall Mombasa and a guard whipped a thermometer gun to check my temperature and sanitizer on the side then security check . You have a huge following please guide them wisely. Sierra Leone and Liberia went into lockdown to defeat deadly Ebola lest you forgotten . They are poorer than us.

Back to my prayer corner it is now you and your God. It’s time to reflect hard , entire world is coming to a halt. Everyone is rushing back home, if we had a choice where to die everyone would choose home . It is human nature . Airlines are all looking for parking space , stock exchanges are collapsing but I am also optimistic that we shall overcome but first this is a true test for any believer. We are NOTHING . We can invent Everything but some invisible bug has made us equal.

While we are believers the same teachings also support science so anyone who says science alone is enough is lost. We combine prayers with science . Did someone say …..Titanic was UNSINKABLE

Fact: If you caught the virus today Mbagathi awaits you and it you are to die from it I don’t think Lee Funeral will accept your body . That is the reality check.

Folks as we head to a weekend please take good care of yourself with your loved ones . Please choose to act responsible.

As always I choose to remain an optimist that Allah will guide us to overcome this unseen dangerous virus.

Mohammed Hersi

We must enforce social distancing at the ferry crossing Mombasa.

I have heard more noise than solution on how to control the huge numbers of people crossing the ferry on foot where social distancing is ignored.

Best Illustrations on social distance

My simple solution .

1. Let them queue,  maintaining the required one metre gap. The queue can stretch as far back as Pandya Hospital Roundabout.

On Likoni side the same queue system shall apply stretching towards Shelly Beach Road.

There should be no more holding of pedestrians at the yard to avoid any potential spread of virus . It will be a queue and they will maintain the same social distancing in the ferry.

We have National Youth Service who can implement this with ease. Don’t bring armed police . Masses detest being forced . Teach them why this is important.

2. Suspend the use of the old ferry that does not have a sitting area. The notorious old ferry where pedestrians are packed like sardines while standing  should be stopped ferrying pedestrians

3. Consider spraying the passenger ferry before loading again. A team is kept ready to do that to avoid delays

Anyone asking us to stop ferry crossing, they think that people who cross this channel do it for pleasure but again some of those leaders making such calls are ignorant, forgive them, they don’t know.

I hope and trust my Bro Bakari Gowa will consider this simple ideas.

Mohammed Hersi

You have served your term , please go home.

A big NO to set up of Regional Goverments.

What is Devolution ?

What is the current county goverment ?

Is this NOT Majimbo?

Why would anyone create another layer of regional representation?

If coast is to go that direction then Rift Valley will also ask for maybe 6 regions, Nyanza will follow then Nairobi will also demand to be divided into regions.

Folks let’s get real. We must stop creating offices that serve individual interest as and when . Kenya is already struggling big time with the current county goverments. It’s just too expensive to maintain , on the other hand many counties were better off under the municipality and county councils I dare say that . Bad roads, terrible garbage management, struggling Medicare etc is now the norm . Look at your capital city .

Folks globally if you’ve served your term as a senator, governor, MP even President please don’t insist to hang around , that office is NOT oxygen you won’t die. If it’s withdrawal syndrome fear factor no worries we can afford to fund some counselling sessions . Trust me ordinary life has its beauty .

Let other Kenyans also serve and let Barack Obama inspire you. He is still energetic having led the most powerful nation on earth and he is now enjoying life and speaking engagements. There is life more than a public office besides when we agreed on a term there was a reason.

Please go home and chill and don’t insist on creating a new office that does not exist. If you desire a higher office then run for President and fight for it .

Well as always in my small way I do influence thoughts and if this will be part of the referendum I will vote NO but I still choose to remain an optimist that sense will prevail.

I say a BIG NO to Regional Goverment.

Mohammed Hersi

GOK. You truly let down our young sportsmen and women*

Waking up to Shujaa Team beating South Africa is so refreshing . 36 / 14 is NO MEAN achievement.

At Rugby Sevens , we have lost to South Africa most of the time if not all the time .

Truth be said , our sportsmen and women really do us proud despite the bad treatment they receive . When you look at the pitch where our rugby players train it is like a grazing field , imagine if we gave them the facilities .

Our female football national team against all odds almost qualified for the Olympics . I have now seen that five of them have landed professional playing careers in Portugal. Cyprus & Sweden. Do you know what it means to the family of those poor girls?

Harambee Starlets

What about our Volleyball team ? Against all odds they beat rest of Africa to qualify for the Olympics . Again several of them have landed professional contracts in Europe. Do the people who manage sports in this country know what that means to those poor girls ? One of them lives in a mud hut grass thatched and that is in 2020. That young lady will now be able to uplift the lives of her family and her other siblings .

Malkia Stars

A country like Nigeria rakes in billions from their footballers .

What is so hard in fixing the facilities and you give these low of the low but talented youth a chance in life ?

What is so hard in building a damn stadium with a good playing field, gym +++. Jubillee lied to Kenyans and that is a Known Known. They lied to the young people in this country. Mr President you can still redeem your legacy in getting the stadias done. Our Chinese friends can easily fix 5 to 10 stadium in under 2 years . They are building in under 10 days a 1000 bed Hospital to handle Coronavirus. I honestly don’t mind one more borrowing for the sake of sports .

To fix a stadia is NO rocket science . It is concrete steps in the sitting area and playing field. Poorer countries have done it and here we are insisting we care for sports while we don’t.

We lost supersports KPL sponsorship just like that with our BAD HABIT of eating.

A failed PS in Sports a colourless PS I dare say is transferred to another docket instead of getting fired . Talk of cuddling mediocrity.

We only know how to take credit when the teams do Well. Does GOK know what our volleyball team went through at Kasarani. Boiling hot water using an electric coil in a bucket to get hot water for bathing . It was shared between all of them in cold Nairobi. What is so hard in booking them at even a 3 star hotel with running hot water . One of the girls had to bring a TV from home for them to watch at their so called camp.

Despite all that they made mince meat of other teams . Egypt and Hosts Cameroon had their camps in Europe while we dumped ours at Kasarani but when they do well we pretend that we care for them.

We brag about our Athletes. Athletics is more of individual efforts again not a single stadium or decent gym for weight training. Thanks to the organised agents and sponsors.

To GOK allow me to teach you basic economics . We export flowers to earn forex. We bring in tourists to earn Forex. When we help our youth to excel in Sports and land lucrative contracts that is serious forex coming in. What is so hard in making that happen ? What is hard in getting that ????

Kenya Premier League is struggling today . I asked a key official in my team mighty Gor how much we would need to get the KPL working . He said with Ksh 1.5B to Ksh 2B a year we will have the best premier league and our footballers can then focus without having to worry how they will get paid. You tell me how much have been stolen by some pot bellied chap ?

Well to our young men and women this Sunday I salute you . Don’t give up . Almighty God will help you shine and the young footballers heading to Europe is enough testimony that God will never forsake you. Hard work pays and thanks to TV coverage that exposed your achievement at CECAFA tournament in Dar es Salaam

To GOK please hang you head in shame . Don’t wait at the finish line to bask in glory . That is bad manners.

For now Hongera Shujaa Team

As always I choose to remain an optimist by also being candid with those who fail us miserably.

Mohammed Hersi

Nairobi hotels are not in distress, if anything they are growing.

Good people I have seen a list of hotels either closing or are under duress on various chat groups.

Brand New Raddison Arboretum

While pessimists love to share anything and everything bad please allow me to shed light as follows .

Every product has a shelf life and at some point it plateus. If you don’t invigorate it then it dies. There is also nothing wrong to close and bounce back bigger and better .

While that list focused on some 7 or so hotels we have also have double that number opening in Nairobi while old brand names like Nairobi Serena undergoing a major refurb. Currently Sarova Panafric is doing the same and they are even adding more new rooms.

Mayfair is closing shop since the owner a Kenyan family who own the property wants to redevelop the plot and that may include a hotel. Tsonga Sun were only managing . Anyone saying a South African hotel group is exiting Kenya due to bad times is misinformed. You are just ignorant.

Jacaranda I feel for them . Hotel business and shareholders feuds don’t go together . I hope and pray they resolve their issues soonest possible. Jacaranda is a beautiful hotel in a prime location.

Windsor is going some rough patch as well but downsizing to plan a comeback is very much part of business but again a location to die for.

Stunning Windsor Golf & Country Club

Pride Inn MD / Owner has made it clear . What was said about Lantana was nothing but nonsense. Hasnain Noorani please keep going and you have full faith in Kenya .

Boma is a good business but highly geared and that may not work very well in the hotel industry . Financing a project 100% debt financing is always a long shot but I strongly believe good management can help them come out of their financial turbulence.

The Boma. With right model they’ll bounce back

So much about bad news , now the following brand new hotels have opened.

We now have three yes 3 Radissons in Nairobi.

Hilton 2 and soon 3.

We now have 3 Airport hotels . 5 years ago we had none. 1 Hilton. 1 IHG. I Sheraton.

Hilton Garden Inn serving JKIA

Tribe added a brand new hotel trendy hotel Trademark at Village Market . Go have a look .

City Lodge at Two another great addition.

Then Ole Sereni major expansion which has just been completed

Then throw into the mix Villa Rosa Kempinski. Crowne Plaza. Best Western and I can go on and on and on.

To those who see nothing but doom pole sana you will have to wait for a very long time.

Are we facing challenges ? Of course we are . If you don’t want challenges then please don’t get out of bed. You cannot talk about the weather when you are still in bed.

Folks as always I choose to remain an optimist.

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman Kenya Tourism Federation .

Social Media Bullies…Don’t hesitate to block them .

I have seen friends deactivate their social media accounts because of bullying by characters who feel they own the cyber space.

First things first. Your timeline on FB or handle on Twitter is YOUR personal space . You have been given the title deed by FB and Twitter to that space hence no one and I repeat no one has any business to get into your space to bully you.

If one is faceless without a profile picture I don’t enagage faceless souls / cowards. I simply BLOCK them because they fail Test No 1 of social media . TRANSPERANCY. There is a reason why FB and Twitter have given us the option to block such toxic characters.

There is a big difference disagreeing on something and folks who do nothing but at any given opportunity would write toxic stuff. These are chaps who never create any content but they just trol others spewing toxic. Real existing people , we may not agree on issues at all times but RESPECT & DECORUM is key. I have many of them as friends.

I have witnessed characters who attempt to draw boundaries for you on what you can say or post. I tend to comment on many issues be it business , career and even political status both local and global. For one to be able to comment on issues you MUST develop the good habit of reading books and good books for that matter. Reading opens your mind and reading a book is like spending time with the author. When you read autobiography on world leaders it’s like you spent time with them . It took them years to write such a book.

Back to the toxic fellows, these are people who are unhappy with themselves. They are busy working hard to get you to join them in their corner in being toxic. Some are even unhappy when I thank goverment be it national or county. These toxic chaps do not know the power of GRATITUDE. A simple thank you means alot .

How do you deal with such chaps , faceless ones BLOCK THEM PAP.

Real existing people try to engage them and 80% of the time you’ll become great friends . If it doesn’t work and they keep bullying you well simple block them as well since they came looking for you on your timeline.

Folks don’t quit social media because of such characters . Lock them in the trash bin where they belong. Taka Taka.

Well as always I choose to remain an optimist that I would meet ladies and Gentlemen on this huge social media platform. Truth be said I have made friends and met many including families who are now my best of friends.

DO NOT EMPOWER ANYONE TO MAKE YOU UNHAPPY. Let no one smoke you out of social media . We are here to stay.

Mohammed Hersi