Case Study: The Zehneria Portico
Kenya is largely viewed as a leisure destination. However, as Kenya takes on the new identity of being East Africa’s economic hub, it is continually molding into a business destination. Additionally, Kenya is globally getting recognized as the African New Technologies hub, therefore bolstering the country as a leader towards the growth of business travel.
So where do the Kenyan hotels fit into this new image that the Kenyan government is propelling? Moreover, how can hotel managers attract the current e-generation where virtual world supersedes the real one?
This case study looks at trends in the hotel industry in Kenya including the overall effect of the internet on travel and how one hotel, The Zehneria Portico, has seen its best year in revenue growth in 2018.
1. Corporate Rate
The country’s fame as a conference destination is rising fast; the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has ranked Kenya as the second-best destination for conference tourism in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa.
A monetary number worth looking at is the value in conference tourism (MICE) which stands at KES. 30 billion. Hotels account for a monstrous 60 percent of this total value.
Since business travellers spend more time at the hotel either in meetings or working after office hours, they are more demanding as pertains to the amenities offered vis-à-vis the leisure tourists.
Still, corporations do not have the time to hunt for hotels deals, organize conferences, liaise with hotel managers, and handle their core business as well. Hotels on the other hand do not have the resources to track individual corporate travel and conferences needs while maintaining a digital presence and the few walk-ins.
As such, The Zehneria Portico has combined forces with Jumia Travel to offer 10% cheaper rates to its corporate clients that sign up for the Corporate Program.
2. Local Tourism
Domestic tourists contributed to 59% of the total tourism income in 2016 in Kenya. As such, it is vital to understand the local market and observe travelers’ behavioral insights are essential for the hotel industry. How do they search for a hotel? When do they book their hotel stay? What are the hotels getting the most bookings? And Why?
From Jumia Travel’s 2017 Hospitality Report on Kenya, nearly 60% of travelers begin their online search for a hotel a fortnight before their journey while an incredible 80% make their final choice 7 days before. Moreover, a staggering 25% of travelers make a same day booking. A true depiction of a last-minute nation indeed!
The devices used?
The Zehneria has created an online presence that is fluid enough to accommodate last minute reservations to ensure maximum occupancy. Currently running a 40% discount for the upcoming Eid long weekend, it is too good of an offer to pass.
3. Life of the Party
1 out of 3 Africans are part of the middle class and are expected to double by 2050. The middle class are an important contributor to the growth of local and regional tourism. This is the top demography that hotels are attracting.
With 80% of the middle-class Africans travelling for leisure, hotels must create in-house entertainment programs to generate more revenue. From the massages, gym subscriptions to live bands and pool parties, Zehneria is increasingly appealing to a crowd that “is happening” on Instagram and Snapchat.
For instance, on the eve of 16th June there is a fashion show to raise awareness on human trafficking and an after-pool party.
On the 29th, the Drinkpreneur will be happening at the Seasons Bar and Restaurant. This is basically the meet and greet for professionals looking to network and exchange business ideas.
Credit: Elizabeth Kiburu and Josephine Wawira