Serena Hotels has launched another first when they made history yesterday in Kenya with “Lipa Pole Pole,” the Kiswahili version of “First Stay and Then Pay.” This novel idea, novel for East Africa at least, is aimed to attract more local visitors into their lodges and resorts during the low season, when the lack of foreign tourists can be made up by an increase in domestic and regional travel, as Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Rwandans, and Burundians are able to sample five-star standards at affordable rates and convenient payment plans.
Required is a down-payment of 25 percent of the value of the stay, in any of Serena’s lodges and safari camps or the 5-star Mombasa Serena resort.
This low season is industry wide in Kenya, with occupancies below the long-term average, and even market leaders like Serena Hotels are struggling to reach a breakeven point, resulting in brainstorming sessions on how to entice people to come and stay, resulting in the launch of “Lipa Pole Pole” yesterday.
Besides the five top-rated city hotels in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, and Maputo, Bujumbura is in the making it is understood, as are two seaside resorts in Zanzibar and Mombasa, two lakeside resorts, one outside Kampala on Lake Victoria, and another one in Gisenyi on Lake Kivu, plus a further 15 lodges and tented camps in Kenya and Tanzania waiting for guests, all in prime locations in the most scenic of national parks and game reserves. For more information, check out the Serena Blog via www.theserenaexperience.com or visit their main website by clicking on www.serenahotels.com .