Kenya: Health Overtakes Security as a Matter of Priority in Tourism - Balala

24 November 2020

Nairobi — The future of the tourism sector in Kenya and around the world lies in the health measures taken by stakeholders.

This is according to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala who says COVID-19 has shifted priorities within the sector on what stakeholders should invest in.

Balala says that for any business in the sector to thrive, they would need to invest in health and safety measures as a matter of priority to ensure customers are safe.

The CS explained that prior to COVID-19, security had been the greatest concern but has now been overtaken by health.

He said that health, security and technology, in that order, will be the biggest drivers of the sector after the virus left it on its knees owing to various containment measures, among them lockdowns and closure of public places.

"The future of tourism will be based on health, security and technology. These are top priority for the sector to recover," the CS told an hospitality stakeholders audience in a virtual meeting.

A report by the Ministry of Tourism in June said that although the pandemic came during the low tourist season in Kenya, the hotel sector experienced an abrupt and unprecedented drop in hotel demand that led to closure of most hotels.

As a result, many hotels had to send some staff on paid and unpaid leaves. Many are yet to recover.

Data by the World Health Organization indicates that there have been 58.4 million confirmed cases of the virus, including 1.3 million deaths.

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