NAIROBI, June 3 – The European Union has announced intentions to provide an additional Sh300 million to aid in the recovery of the country’s tourism sector.
Head of the EU delegation Eric Van Linden said these funds would among other things assist in strengthening the current crisis management programme in place.
Speaking at the launch of a four day workshop designed to aid in the recovery of the sector, Linden said it was good the workshop would focus on crisis management through the internet.
He added that other than crisis management the sector needs to embrace the use of the net in marketing and carrying out business within the tourism sector.
“68 percent of adults in Europe use the internet to search for holidays, making it a viable platform for trade in the sector,” he noted.
However, Linden was quick to note that the biggest challenge for E-Tourism in the country was how to retain money earned in the country.
Tourism Trust Fund Chief Executive Dan Kagagi said the three phase seminars would include a review of how information pertaining to tourism was managed during the recent period of insecurity following the election.
And on E- tourism, Kagagi observed that with nearly 20 percent tourism bookings taking place online, the country’s tourism operators have no choice but to catch up with international trends.
“We see strategic investment in information technology and online marketing as key ingredients to the recovery and sustainability of our sector,” he said.
“We need to recognize the web as the predominant means of booking and selling travel and so in order to get the sector back on track, online marketing will have to play a key role in regaining sustainable business.”
On the other hand a facilitator at the workshop Damien Cook noted that, while banks in the country are still trying to educate Kenyans on the use of credit cards before embracing E- trade, the world has already moved on to Web 2.0 a more participatory form of the internet.
The trio were however optimistic that E-tourism will soon become a reality in the country.