NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 27 – Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has asked Kenyans to embrace domestic tourism so as to help revive the sector that has been crippled by the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his message as the world marks World Tourism day, Balala said tourism is on its knees due to COVID-19, hence the need for collective efforts.
Tourism is among the worst hit sectors worldwide after nations including Kenya closed their airspace at the height of the pandemic but the situation is slowly normalising.
“Magical Kenya is working with the Ministry of Tourism to see that we have good experiences across the country so that people can visit both domestic and international,” he said.
In Mombasa, most hotels closed down and sent workers home, but most have re-opened.
“2020 has been a very difficult year because of the coronavirus pandemic but even so I want to thank those Kenyans who have come out to travel and supporting the tourism economy because every traveler open up a new job for our people,” he said.
Balala at the same time challenged Governors to establish products that will boost domestic and international tourism in a bid to create jobs that were lost due to the pandemic.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, Kenya is estimated to have lost close to Sh100 billion in revenue since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country in March translating to hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.
“Tourism is part of development in our rural areas. It is important for us to create jobs and we want do so all over the country by developing tourism throughout our counties,” he said.