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Kenya ready to bounce back into the tourism market after COVID-19 pandemic

Balala spells out solid plan to re-invent Kenya’s tourism industry post COVID-19

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Kenya has a solid plan to get its tourism market kicking once again once COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The country hopes to throw its weight into both local and regional tourism markets as its first step into reviving the industry post-COVID-19. All this was announced by Tourism CS Najib Balala in a recent Webinar – Leap Forward – that he hosted bringing together stakeholders.

It had a total of six local and international tourism experts who weighed in on the way forward for Kenya’s tourism industry post the pandemic.

“The international market will take a while to recover and we should, therefore, bank on the domestic and regional travellers. However, affordability and accessibility will play a vital role in this”, Balala stated in the Webinar that had over 500 stakeholders.

Trip Advisor which was part of the Webinar said that data shows that Africans are ready to take regional trips in and out of their countries but within the continent in six months after the pandemic ends.

Road trips, beach visits topped the list of activities that these people have on their budget list.

Damian Cook, Founder & CEO E-Tourism Frontiers added that this is the time for Kenyan to go through its tourism stock and see where to improve.

Ninan Chacko of McKinsey, challenged Balala to reinvent tourism products in the country and offer tourists more value for their time and money citing that tourism infrastructure in Kenya is by far the best in East Africa. 

One of the key points floated by Hugo Espirito-Santos of McKinsey was for the Tourism Ministry to try out “experimental tourism” which could have popular tourist spots such as the Maasai Mara reduce its density while factoring in its culture, consumer segments and geography.

In pain-point from research by TIFA Research Limited presented Maggie Ireri, they have helped the ministry create a re-invention strategy which will have about 1.6 million Kenyans employed.

The six-point agenda will create a recovery revolving fund, deferring of tax, reduction of input costs and fees; incentives for investors in the tourism sector. Enhancing domestic tourism marketing budget, better support and coordination of the aviation sector and investing in the conservation of wildlife.

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