Hotels turn to marketing in search of the business client

Battered hotel industry is leaning heavily on branding and marketing to capture corporate clients as tourism struggles with squeezed incomes on inflationary pressures.

Corporates are more keen on branding and operating with popular restaurant chains that has seen brands such as PrideInn, Accor, Sarova ink hotel management deals as they push competition in conference tourism through local and global trade shows.

As the industry struggles to navigate the tough operating environment, they are giving popular brands hotel management deals and driving sales and advertising opportunities especially in events.

Nairobi hosted its chapter of Skal International dinner gala at PrideInn Azure in Westlands that brought together tourism stakeholders from Nairobi, including hoteliers and tour agents, among others.

According to organisers, the event gave stakeholders an opportunity to network, exchange business ideas and deliberate on issues affecting the sector.

PrideInn group says they have also been participating in international events that showcase the country’s potential as a business destination the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) held in Berlin, Germany, in March.

The company also participated in the just concluded World Travel Market Africa trade show held in Cape Town, South Africa.

“We are delighted to see our properties being recognised as the ideal venues for business events in Nairobi. We have worked hard to create an environment that caters to the needs of the modern business traveller, and we are pleased to see that our efforts are paying off,” PrideInn Hotels, Resorts and Camps Group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani said.

The group says they business visitors have become the mainstay of the business accounting for 60 percent of current hotel occupancy. The majority of visitors to the hotels were domestic, a trend that highlights the resilience of the local market.

PrideInn said the greatest challenges facing the Kenyan tourism economy, is the inflationary pressure, the elevated cost of doing business, and the shilling’s depreciation.

The hotelier said the occupancy patterns at PrideInn Azure and PrideInn Plaza Hotel and Convention Centre has prompted the group to undertake aggressive marketing efforts internationally to position its hotels as the preferred destination for business travellers.

The company’s management said they are working closely with the government and other stakeholders to promote Kenya’s MICE segment.

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