Kenya: CS Balala Says Tourism Sector Has Lost Sh80 Billion Due to COVID-19

Nairobi — The Tourism Industry has so far lost Sh80 billion in revenue, since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in mid-March this year.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Monday said the sector has been severely affected and it will only manage to recover 30 percent of its losses during the 2020-2021 financial year once the country reopens

"We lost 50 percent of our revenue during the first half and the second half is equally as good as zero. The tourism sector is really suffering both revenues from the government and the private sector,"

With the cases of the virus now above 6000 mark and counting, Balala said the sector will leverage on the domestic tourism as the International Tourism is projected to remain affected until mid 2021

"We are cognizant that in the first six months of this year we are going to focus on the domestic tourism but definitely the first thing to do is to contain the virus and ensure that all the measures are put in place and adhered to," Balala said.

In 2018-2019 financial year, the sector received 2.05 million tourist arrivals bringing in tourism revenue of Sh164 billion.

Balala spoke during the release of the Tourism Recovery Strategy Report at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The tourism industry in Kenya contributes immensely to national development through employment creation, environmental conservation and management, fostering closer ties among people, income generation, source of foreign exchange, linkages with other sectors like agriculture, transport, real estate, and promoting development in rural areas among others benefits with all these sub-sectors having been negatively affected.

On July 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the Nation on the review of the containment measures that have so far been given including the cessation of moment in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera Counties and also the dusk to dawn curfew.

Many Kenyans are hopeful that the head of State will lift the restrictions.

By June 29, the country had recorded 6190 cases with 144 deaths

However, 2013 people have so far been discharged after recovering from the virus.

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