North coast, the tourism hub has remained subdued during the Easter holiday due to restrictions issued by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The lockdown in the five disease infected counties of Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos has forced hundreds of local tourists to cancel their bookings as they restricted from travelling out of their Counties.
As a result, businesses have been forced to close down in Malindi, Watamu, Mamburui, and other parts of the north coast that usually at such a time, normally attracts thousands of local and international tourists.
The Frontier Post has reveled that only a handful local tourists turned up in some hotels in Mombasa alongside a limited number of foreigners during the Easter festivities.
Local beach operators and artists who depended on the tourism sector for survival has been forced to look for alternative means of survival.
Kennedy Simba aka K-Simba artist a resident of Malindi casuarina area said COVID-19 has rendered them jobless and they can no longer sustain their livelihoods.
Simba once used to organize safaris and excursions for tourists but with decrease in number he has found himself without a source of income.
“When we started this business there was good income but due to the low number of tourists, it has been difficult for them and their employees to survive and cater for their family needs,’’ he said.
He said a majority of the youth who worked in the tourism sector have now ventured into the bodaboda industry while some are now engaged in construction work for survival.
Break Yakutsi beach operators Chairman John Mvuko Ndago called on the Government to look into the plight of those in the tourism sector saying the lockdown is really affecting them.
Mvuko who also operates a beach restaurant specializing in sea food said they had anticipated that this year will be different than 2020, saying they were expecting many domestic and international tourists who had already made their bookings.
He asked the government to come up with ways of cushioning those in the tourism sector against the pandemic saying a majority are suffering.