Would discounts make game reserves and parks pull in more local tourists? What about making more Kenyans eat at restaurants, or make the experience of eating out at restaurants something that appears among the options that more people have?
There has been a surge in local tourist numbers in the recent past. Either that or I am having classic red car moment. There also has been a surge in tourism campaigns targeted at locals ever since Al Shabaab discovered Kenya. Because Kenya cannot issue a travel advisory against Kenya, we have to remain our main visitors during moments when others choose to stay away. There are more calls to experience Kenya. It is a common thing, or sort of an expectation for Kenyans to post photos of their latest destination on their social media pages with a #TembeaKenya hashtag.
Establishments have also become more open to local tourists, whose pockets may not necessarily be as deep as those of the international clients, considering them a possible way of keeping their businesses alive. Add that to the rarity of 100% room occupancy in hotels and you’ll clearly get the reason why recreational establishments have no qualms using subsidized rates as a way of attracting local patrons. However, the out of my price range tag hasn’t completely left the establishments.
A number of local outfits have sprung up in the recent past to reduce the gap between these establishments and Kenyans. Subsidized tours and travel packages are quite easy to come across. Not a day goes by without someone seeing an offer that they can afford without breaking the bank being advertised somewhere on the interwebs.
However, some products go beyond tours and travel and try to offer a solution for the whole recreational spectrum. Discoucher is one of them.
Discoucher seeks to make visits to recreational joints less costly, or to enable you get more for less. It is slight twist to the old discounts practice; discount vouchers from various establishments that have been consolidated into a book, with perforated edges for easy tearing off of the voucher you would like to use. Think of a coffee table book that is full of discount vouchers, also small enough to also fit in your bag.
Get one main course meal when a meal of equal value or more is bought, reads one voucher from a high end restaurant. Get a free Swedish massage when you purchase a facial, reads another one, or an extra night if three or more nights are bought, reads another one from a five star facility at the Coast, the luxurious Medina Palms in Watamu to be specific. Some offer little giveaways such as salads, or desserts.
It is a thrifter’s ideal purchase, or the perfect item to assuage the guilt of going against your financial adviser’s recommendation on eating out less often.
Sharon Njoroge, the lady behind this venture says she is out to offer Kenyans an affordable way to experience what the country offers.
“I was always seeing the idea in Dubai where I used to live. And, every time I came into the country, being a student meant I couldn’t go out as much as I wanted. You know how being a student and being low on finances are always close together. So, I asked myself why not introduce this concept to Kenya.”
Discoucher launched last year and it featured a number of establishments within Nairobi. The offers ranged from decent to quite attractive. This year, the company decided to go out of town as well. The book is now visibly larger and it features a wider range of establishments from Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru to Diani, Mombasa and Watamu. The value is also way bigger; the total value of the offers in the book is Kshs. 300 000. It retails at Kshs. 2000 . The vouchers are valid for a year; they expire in December.
This presents an interesting way to go around planning activities for your time off; with such a product as this, you can stay at hotel, eat at a restaurant and get some R&R at a beauty spa that has partnered with Discoucher thus opening thyself up to huge savings. In other words, you can merge discount offers from different establishments into one discounted holiday. A welcome option for anybody planning a holiday.
In addition to the book, Sharon is working on an android mobile application for the product. It will be available for download at a fee, the equivalent of buying the physical book.
The book is available at Nakumatt and in a number of partner restaurants and other establishments around the city. They can also be delivered upon request within Nairobi.