Sometime this year I had the chance to get away on a weekend at one of those Airbnb homes which I would describe as ‘home away from home’ without feeling like cliché. It is very close to the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, a little after the famous Kikopey Town, yet still, it feels like it’s been tucked away somewhere out of this world so that once you are there there is a perfect shift of mind to Lake Elementaita which is about 300 metres away and not the highway left behind about a kilometre. The experience of that environment as well as what has been put in to give the home itself a rustic yet exquisite feel that literally calms nerves, got me mesmerized at how seriously some investors take hospitality, even when the Airbnb business had seemed like some ‘quail’ wave which would soon die down.
Indeed, the tide with Airbnbs isn’t as high as its peak in 2018, but like any other business, I saw the proof with Tuliza Homestays that quality can stand tides.
This is what this issue is about the quality of choices that we make in our own tourism regardless of the world’s view of it, and the quality we put into our hospitality and tourism investments. Dr. Murithi starts us off by taking us to the basics of why we travel, hence what goals we set for it. This will open your mind to the rest of the articles especially on the promising future that tourism holds with regards to how far we have come with our view of the same. If you are a business person in the sector, you do not want to miss Dr. Baiya’s piece on how to use data to improve customer experience.
A lot of data collected through surveys, reviews, and other means is going to waste because ‘then what?’ Turn to page 18 to figure this out. In an interesting twist, you will enjoy the story of Joy, who has generously put it out there that the first time she traveled abroad she almost, well, didn’t, thanks to ignorance and pride. It may sound absurd, but in ignorance, isn’t it justifiable to wonder why the embassy needs to know your bank balance? Also, meet Patrick Kuria, the man who hiked Mt. Kenya in 11 hours and 27mins in 2020 and has set for himself a tougher challenge of under 11 hours for next year. Why do you wonder? It’s for a good cause, head over to page 16 and hears him out. Enjoy your read, will you?