Kenya seeks to revive tourism amid pandemic with promises of stronger safety measures for travelers
Published: Feb 04, 2021 09:58 PM
Kenya said Monday that investment in robust public health measures has been prioritized in order to boost the confidence and safety of travelers as the post-pandemic recovery of the tourism sector gathers steam.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, said that restoring confidence of local and international travelers is key to reviving a sector that bore the brunt of the ­COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are looking forward to building a more resilient and sustainable tourism sector by restoring traveler confidence while enhancing their safety," said Balala.

He spoke in Nairobi during the launch of a survey on travelers' readiness to travel in the post-COVID-19 era commissioned by the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA).

The survey which was conducted between August and October 2020 says that travelers' confidence levels slumped amid concerns over risks posed by the pandemic.

"Travelers are clearly concerned about COVID-19 and are taking ­precautions to protect themselves and stay safe with one of the biggest fears for travelers being quarantined," says the survey.

"Safety is usually top in the minds of consumers as they look toward the recovery period and as they plan to start traveling again."

The survey says that 65 percent of respondents were willing to resume domestic travel followed by 34 and 25 percent keen to explore regional and international destinations respectively.

"Rebuilding traveler confidence is key in restarting travel and rebuilding the aviation industry as a whole," said Agnes Mucuha, CEO of KATA.

"Adopting the right technology will help make that a reality, and it is a step in the right direction for travel industry decision-makers," she added.

Mucuha said that tourism and aviation sector players should put in place measures that guarantee the safety of travelers amid the risk of new COVID-­19 variants.

Esther Munyiri, director of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center said the sector's recovery hinges on reassuring travelers of their safety amid health risks posed by ­COVID-19.

"People are clearly concerned about COVID-19 when traveling. But the travel agents can ensure they build a sense of safety and confidence by helping travelers understand the COVID-19 protocols of both the source country and the destination country," said Munyiri.  

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