Women to tap into tourism potential

March 4, 2011

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – A non-profit association aimed at changing the lives of women in tourism has been launched to help bring gender aspects of the sector to the attention of policy makers.

The chairperson of the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism, Faith Kithu said the association is responding to the need for a formal platform for women\’s voice in the tourism sector, which is one of the country\’s key economic pillars.

"Our main aim is to provide a platform for the women in tourism, as far as policy, participation and advocacies are concerned. They are very many opportunities for women, and indeed, we must say in the tourism industry it is almost 48percent saturation of women, which is good compared to other industries," Ms Kithu said

Speaking during the launch of the association, Ms Kithu said women who account for half of the country\’s population should be fully engaged if sustainable development is to be attained in the tourism industry.

"We are providing a pool of expertise because ours is a professional association, for the government to tap in for expertise when it comes to policy and planning. Also for aspiring women who want to start businesses in the tourism industry."
Also present at the event was Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa who expressed the board\’s support for the organization.

Mr Ndegwa said that more associations should be made up to help with the industries collections and tourist influx into the country.

The association will work in collaboration and partnership with other recognized bodies such as Kenya Tourism Development Cooperation, Eco-Tourism Kenya among others.

Tourism currently accounts for around 10percent of Kenya\’s Gross Domestic Product, making it the third largest contributor to the GDP after agriculture and manufacturing.

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