On Tuesday the 18th of June we went to Mombasa Old Town. We went to the market called ‘Markiti’ and the Fort Jesus area to look at small businesses and their impact on the economy. First, we visited the little tourist shops in the old town that some of us had never seen before. Most of them were very authentic and sold many vintage high-end items. It was surprising to learn that some were not even tourist shops as wealthy local people bought more from them than the tourists. We were also told that currently, sales were low as the tourist season had not picked up yet but they hoped that during July, September, November and December sales could make up for the slump rest of the year.
After that, we went to Markiti and looked at the shops there catering to a different clientele. There were all kinds of things sold there from clothes, shoes, jewellery to even food. It was interesting to see all this. These guys were definitely selling cheaper goods but made up in the volumes they were selling, definitely more demand elastic products.’
The objective of this business trip into Old Town, Mombasa was to be exposed to a different environment and to do a bit of hand on primary market research. It was interesting to walk around and see all the different tourist type shops near Fort Jesus and get an idea of how the tourism sector has changed in Kenya in the past 10 years, the demographics of the type of tourists also and the effect all this has had on some of these unique businesses