Industry plans post-coronavirus healing

Thursday, April 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala talks to the media in Mombasa last year. Photo/PD/ NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Tourism stakeholders have come up with a raft of measures to ensure the sustenance and recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry during and post the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking during an online tourism stakeholder’s conference christened Post Covid-19 Leap Forward, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the sector must adapt to evolving scenarios to ensure quick recovery.

“We have to restart and reset the industry from a new slate going forward. We also need to ensure we utilise the ever-evolving digital world, which we are compatible with and to make sure that conservation and wildlife, which are a key component of the industry, are enhanced,” said Balala.

The CS also called for the need to advocate for legislations and re-engineering of the industry, establishment of  recovery funds for SME’s and a relook into the aviation and travel sector.

“Without aviation there is no tourism; configuration of the sector is, therefore, key,” he said. 

The conference brought together local and international tourism industry professionals to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism industry locally. The sector is one of the hardest-hit by the outbreak of Covid-19.

“The other key component is to change the mind-set for domestic and regional markets, which will be key,” said Balala, noting that younger people are now more likely to travel than older generations. 

During the conference, Damian Cook, CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers, a strategic tourism consultancy specialising in change management, said: “We will be in a situation in which players will require supporting each other to ensure that things are running. Bilateral agreements, changes and increased cost of aviation and regulated trade will be the order of the day”.  

Stakeholders agreed that more emphasis needed to be placed on local and regional tourism post Covid-19 since the international traveller will be less willing to travel immediately due to the effects of the current lockdowns.

They also agreed that the industry needs to leverage on the adversity to  by harnessing and responding to the crisis through ways that create a brighter future for the industry.

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