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Kenya commits Sh500mn to save tourism as coronavirus deals it painful blows

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The government through the Ministry of Tourism has set aside Sh500 million to help the industry recover from the impact of coronavirus, even as the virus continues to deal painful blows to the sector.

Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala told tourism stakeholders that part of the money would be used to restore confidence in Kenya as a preferred travel destination.

The rest, Balala said, would be used for the post Coronavirus recovery strategy in all of Kenya’s key source markets.

Balala spoke at a meeting convened by the Ministry of Tourism to discuss the preparedness of the Government in relation to tourism following the global Covid-19 crisis.

“The Government is prepared and committed to ensuring that covid-19 does not get into the country a reason why President Uhuru Kenyatta formed a task force to coordinate Kenya’s preparedness, prevention and response to the disease,” he said.

The blow on the sector comes at a time when the industry was recovering from a wave of Islamist assaults in the last decade.

Last year, earnings from the sector rose 3.9 percent to Sh163.56 billion, attributable to a slight increase in the number of visitors.

Along with agricultural exports and money sent home by Kenyans living abroad, tourism remains to be one of the country’s top foreign exchange-earners.

 

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