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Kenyan Tourism And The 80 Billion Missed Opportunities

Kenyan Tourism And The 80 Billion Missed Opportunities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY SIMON MULI

In their assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism in Kenya the National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee found out that the sector has so far lost Kshs 80 billion in revenue.

Airlines in Africa had also incurred a combined $4.4 billion in losses by 11th March, 2020 and now, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is challenging players to focus more on domestic tourism adding that International tourism will not come until towards the end of 2021. Tourism is one of the key sectors in Kenya’s economy and its resilience is critical for socio-economic development and sustenance of livelihoods in the Country.

Despite its remarkable growth over the years, the sector has however witnessed its fortune plummeting in the wake of the viral contagion which rapidly spread around the world, shutting down the global economy.

But as Balala alluded, the solutions that the sector seeks, lies in weaning themselves off their over-dependence on international tourists. What this simply means is that players in the sector must  turn to the local market, be innovative and also be sensitive to pricing. It’s not the first time that the sector has been implored to consider investing, attracting and maintaining the local market.

Yet, it had to take a crisis as bad as Covid-19 jolt them into action. “ You cannot own a hotel which is 20 to 30 years old and the only investment you have ever  done is a new coat of paints. You are actually removing yourself from the competition,” the CS told hoteliers during the launch of the report. As the country slowly returns back to nomalcy, the tourism sector now needs to reinvent itself in order to weather the storm that it finds itself in due to the pandemic. The government can do only so much. 

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