Kenya tourism awarded ‘Safer Travel Seal’ status

Thursday, August 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Tourism CS Najib Balala at hand to receive tourists disembarking a chartered plane at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa. Photo/PD/FILE

Kenya is the first country globally to be awarded the recommended status of the ‘Safer Tourism Seal’ by Rebuilding Travel.

A statement from the Ministry of Tourism yesterday said that Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was presented with the award in a virtual event attended by global tourism leaders under the pro-tourism industry group composed of members of tourism boards, ministers of tourism, professional associations, industry stakeholders, researchers and academics, as well as travellers.

The ministry termed the Safer Travel Seal as a recognisable symbol world over will be key in positioning Kenya as a safe and preferred destination, further that it would be crucial in building travellers’ confidence in the destination as international travel resumes and hospitality outlets reopen.

Speaking afterwards, Balala said the award is testimony to Kenya’s continued efforts to ensure travellers’ safety following the global Covid-19 pandemic.

World recognition 

 “As a destination, we have put together health and safety measures that are aimed at ensuring the safe re-opening of the tourism sector.

This is to ensure that our citizens, travellers, and workers are well protected,” said Balala.

 “On behalf of my country I am happy to receive this recognition that shows we are headed in the right direction in regard to Covid-19 safety protocols,”

 The recognition follows the Safe Travel Stamp award to Kenya by the World Travel and Tourism Council in June.

 “I can say confidently that we have rolled out successfully the protocols we put in place together with the Ministry of Health.

If you visit our hotels, eateries and other tourism outlets in Kenya you will be ensured of safety if you adhere to the guidelines,” he said.

 Balala encouraged all tourists wishing to visit the country to do so confidently.

 Kenya opened the airspace for international travel from August first for selected countries and territories whose citizens are not subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period after arriving in the country on international flights.

 The updated list by the Ministry of Transport includes about 125 countries and territories out of which 17 are in Africa.

African countries listed are: Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Eritrea, Gambia, Mauritius, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Lesotho and Angola.

 With the Safer Travel Seal now, Kenya is a recognizable symbol throughout the world as a safe preferred destination.

 After the pandemic broke, Kenya joined in the World Tourism organisation’s (UNWTO) #TraveTomorrow campaign which was aimed at asking travellers to remain safe at home.

 The Ministry of Tourism through the Kenya Tourism board also partnered with the private sector to keep the destination alive through a virtual live streaming and the #TheMagicAwaits Campaign.

 The Ministry has also actively kept the crisis communication research centre in collaboration with Kenyatta University active in establishing the challenges that affect the tourism sector at this period and mitigating the same.

 The Safer Tourism Seal recognition will be up for renewal in 2022 if the destination will have then met the ‘tourism surety’ requirements.

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