Tourism body calls for equitable distribution of Sh2b windfall
HOSPITALITY: Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) has hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to commit Sh2 billion to cushion hospitality sector against financial losses caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the financial package would help the struggling sector breath easy.
The federation chairman Mohammed Hersi said for the funds to benefit the sector equitably, priority should be given to low income earners who have been hard hit by the crisis.
Hersi the sector was humbled by the action, saying though many sectors have been affected by the pandemic the President considered it first.
“This is a sign that he is concerned about the sector and we appreciate his gesture… so now we will calculate and find out the amount we use to pay salaries in a month be it 100 per cent, 50 per cent or whichever percentage,” he added.
The most important thing, he said, is that distribution should be equitable, adding: “We don’t want one department to get 100 per cent and another nothing.”
He said the federation alongside other stakeholders will guide the government to ensure that low income earners in the sector are considered first, given that a majority of them have virtually been impoverished by impacts of Covid-19.
“Most of the low income earners have been left with nothing because they have no savings due to the low earnings,” Hersi said.
Some of them, he added, are paid per week, others are paid daily and one can imagine their fate after closure of hotels with most of them having no savings at all.
“You cannot compare them to managers who have savings and investments to cushion them and can look into the future with a little bit of comfort. This is why we think they should be given first priority,” he said.