Kenya’s tourism ministry will introduce measures to ensure the sustenance and recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, a government official said.
The ministry is working with different industry players within the sector to ensure that employees retain their jobs and that businesses remain resilient during the period, Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, principal secretary for tourism, said.
“We are for example rooting for a tax deferment so that entrepreneurs can inject this money into their business,” Tsungu told an online tourism conference Thursday evening.
“We have also been discussing the tourism recovery credit scheme which is meant to cushion the industry and ensure that we retain as many jobs as possible,” she said in a statement issued after the meeting.
During the webinar, which attracted over 1,400 participants from across the globe, Tsungu said that businesses, both public and private, are the backbone of the industry and that their sustenance is key for the industry.
The ministry, she said, has put in place an open-door policy to enable consultations on options aimed at reviving the sector.
“Our new normal is now and as an industry, we must quickly embrace it to ensure that we get the best solutions for the challenges that may lay ahead,” Tsungu said.
The meeting brought together local and international tourism industry professionals to discuss the measures for tourism industry recovery’s following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Betty Radier, CEO of Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), said the board’s marketing strategy has to change due to the travel behaviors among visitors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must not look at the rear-view mirror. We must look ahead at the segments and sub-segments of the new traveler,” Radier said. “Our products and offerings must now address the needs of our clients.”
Tourism is of the sectors hardest-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak due to travel restrictions and flight cancellations which have significantly diminished the supply of both domestic and international services while demand continues to go down.
“Going forward, expectations will be different which means we must start getting ready for them. The domestic market offers a new prospect now,” Radier said.”We must be ready to offer diverse quality offerings to suit our client’s expectations.” Enditem