Among the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) sustainable development pillars,is preserving and enriching the environment and addressing climate change. As the world gears up to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day on 27th September, Jumia Travel, in an interview with the Sales & Marketing Manager of Amani Tiwi Beach Resort Caroline Macharia, explores Diani as one of Kenya’s top sustainable tourist destinations. This is in line with 2017’s theme of Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development.
1. Kenya’s South Coast is one of the most frequented destinations by tourists in the country. How would you describe Diani as compared to other Coastal areas?
Diani beach has the best, clean and white sand beaches in the coast region (2nd best in Africa) as voted during the 21st World Travel Awards. It has a lot to offer in terms of leisure, business, and adventure. This makes it unique. Other features include the marine life (Dolphins at Kisite Mpunguti), Historic sites (Shimoni caves), Culture (Kaya Kinondo) and African Cuisine
2. 10 years ago, Diani Beach had poor maintenance and was overcrowded as compared to today. How would you say the revamp has attracted more visitors to the area?
All the hotels in the south coast have a keen interest on their products. They arrange for beach cleaning exercises for a healthy and eco-friendly environment and maintain best accommodation standards. Additionally, Diani has various offerings from Wildlife, Marine life, good accommodation standards, social life, nightlife, and culture. Additional ferries have also eased access to Diani. Enough support from the county and the central government doubled up by our truly African hospitality, will ensure continued tourism from both international and local visitors to Diani as a destination.
3. Amani Tiwi is referred to as an Eco-friendly haven. What element characterizes it as such?
Use of solar energy; we have a waste-water recycling facility, and we are also involved in turtle conservation and active tree planting programs for green gardens. We also grow vegetables in our gardens to create a good natural environment of stay, not only to our guests and staff but also to fauna.
4. Domestic tourism in Kenya has in the past 2 years been on the rise. Has this helped scale hotel business in Diani?
Yes. Domestic tourism has boosted business hotel in Diani by a greater margin by ensuring there is a flow of guests all-round the year irrespective of business seasonality. It is encouraging to see numbers increasing with the new SGR.
5. Speaking of seasonality, how do you maintain high bed occupancy?
We aggressively come up with innovative packages targeting different market clusters, such as resident rates for our local visitors.
6. What category would you give Amani Tiwi’s guests, in terms of international vs local tourists?
We have a healthy mix of both the domestic and international clients.
7. Are there challenges in running a hotel business in Diani?
Yes. Better accessibility especially during festive seasons when demand is higher than supply and stiff competition.
Jumia Travel and Amani Tiwi Beach Resort, wishes you a happy World Tourism Day 2017. Remember to join the movement, and ‘Travel. Enjoy. Respect’ in the framework of UNWTO’s International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017.