Stakeholders in the entertainment industry are reeling from the effects of Covid-19 regulations and have called on the government to lift the curfew.
The players that include event organizers and DJs have now partnered with tourism stakeholders and hoteliers as a way of repackaging their products to fit into the Covid-19 regulations.
Shorter working hours and dwindled incomes have characterized the industry since last year when Covid-19 was reported in the country leading to the closure of entertainment clubs that resulted into massive job losses.
Mr. Nicola Traldi who is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Solo Grano, an event organizing company said that they had resorted to day time events with hotels in Watamu and will be holding several events starting next month which they hope will boost the industry economically.
Together with a group of hotels, the artists have staged the ‘Seven Island Festival’ to be help in the first Saturday of March and turn Watamu into a day time party destination.
“We want to position Seven Islands Resort and Papa Remo Beach restaurants in Watamu as a cultural hub in East Africa for Italians since the history of Watamu and Papa Remo have enjoyed a good will of locals and international tourists together with culture,” he said.
Ms. Chritiana Mariani, the manager of Papa Remo Beach Resort in Watamu said that they have partnered with Solo Grano to hold Seven Islands Festival next month and attract more tourists into the destination.
“We are some of the few restaurants that opened in July last year amid pandemic, it has not been easy for us and we are trying to do something new to attract guests and life must go on,” she said.
“The business has been up and down but thanks to domestic tourist especially those from Nairobi have kept this place busy during weekends and the Seven Islands Festival to be held in March this year will be a game changer and attract more tourists,” she added.
DJ Suraj, a sound engineer and music producer who shall entertain guests in the highly anticipated ‘Seven Islands Festival’ said they are optimistic that the event shall revive the economy of Kilifi, Malindi and Watamu in particular.
“The Seven Islands Festival provides the opportunity where local artistes together with international artists shall come together and display their talents and culture and this will also boost the economy that has been affected a lot by the Covid-19 pandemic since Watamu is a small town that depends on tourism,” he said.
The artist said the pandemic cut down jobs in the entertainment industry from 100 percent to zero and lauded the government efforts aimed at reviving the economy.
“We are adhering to all the Covid-19 rules while trying to create the best with what we have, the government is playing its part in supporting the entertainment and hotel industry to recover from Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
DJ Suraj said the local entertainment industry which thrives at night has been affected by curfew after it cut down the working hours and disrupted night travel after holding shows.
On the other hand, Mr. Ricardo Lenzi whom together with Mr. Roberto Lenzi are proprietors of Papa Remo, Crystal Bay and Seven Islands Resort said the serenity of the resort and the beautiful sandy beach has made the resort ideal for holiday.
“The additional of daily flights at Malindi Airport has also boosted the number of tourists travelling from Nairobi to Watamu for holiday experience,” he said adding he was optimistic that the place will become very famous by July this year as the ideal party destination.