NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 27 – Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, has called on the tourism private sector to take the lead on sustainable tourism to better grow their businesses and the industry at large.
Speaking at the 14th edition of the Eco Warrior Awards, on the eve of World Tourism Day, Balala said sustainable tourism has the biggest impact in creating jobs and improving livelihoods for local communities.
According to the Tourism Agenda 2018-2022, tourism contributes about 11 percent to Kenya’s GDP and about 12 percent to Kenya’s employment.
Singling out the Plastic ban Law, Balala noted that the ministry is already observing great change among tour operators and their efforts in keeping the parks and beaches plastic free.
“This Plastic Ban law that the president has asked us to enforce by 2020, 5th of June should be driven by the industry itself and led by you the Eco Tourism society of Kenya,” said Balala.
In line with UNTWO’s global theme of “Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’, Eco Tourism awards recognize employers within the tourism sector whose businesses have made a social impact within their destinations through best tourism practices.
Among the winners of the night were Mugie Conservancy 2019 Tourism and Green Jobs Eco Warrior, 2019 Social Impact Eco Warrior Basecamp Explorer Kenya and Gamewatchers Porini .
2019 Green Tourism Champion in the Resource Use Efficiency; Lake Elementaita Serena Camp, Ngare Ndare Forest Trust and Kicheche Mara Camp,2019 Green Tourism Champion in Tour Operations Sunworld Safaris and Let’s Go Travel- Uniglobe, 2019 Green Tourism Champion in Minimization of Single Use Plastic -Kichwa Tembo and Mara Bush Camp.2019 Sustainable Tourism Change Makers award went to an individual David Marenya and the Overall winner; Let’s Go Travel- Uniglobe.
“The Eco Warrior Awards are an indicator of the great strides the industry has made in pushing for sustainable tourism as the list of participants have grown with every year since its inception,” stated the Chief Executive of Eco Tourism Kenya, Grace Nderitu.
“We are proud that we are able to act as a link of the tourism industry, communities and conservation while promoting responsible management of resources”, added Nderitu.