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Govt to begin recovery talks with hospitality, tourism sector players-Balala

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said the government is working to reopen the tourism sector amid a decline triggered by lock downs imposed globally to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

Speaking in Nairobi, Balala said industry players will convene tomorrow to formulate guidelines that will help the sector bounce back.

 “Together with the ministry of health we will be meeting the stakeholders in hotels and restaurants so we can look at the protocols that have been announced by the ministry of health and how practical and how effective they will be,” said Balala.

He further urged industry players to ensure they adhere to the guidelines that will be approved by the Ministry of Health in order to curb the spread of the virus.

“Every sector will come with protocols that will be endorsed and agreed by the MOH who will be the final endorser of these protocols which must be respected when rolled out,” he added.

The pandemic has seen some hotels close temporarily sending staffers on leave amid profit warnings by travel and tourism stakeholders.

A section of the travel agents have also complained of huge losses caused by refusal by airlines to refund air tickets of flights that were cancelled as a result of the global pandemic that has claimed more than 250,000 people.

Additionally, the stakeholders warned of worse projections worth tens of millions this year due to the virus threat globally, with the aviation sector also witnessing stalled operations owing to the pandemic.

The government already set aside Sh500 million as part of the monies to be utilized to revive the hotel and tourism sector.

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Transport Tourism and Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the monies will be used for events to market Kenya once the spread of the virus is contained globally.

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