Mon, 10 May 2021

NAIROBI, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to launch a strategy to drive the post-COVID-19 tourism recovery, a government official said Wednesday.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary with the Ministry for Tourism and Wildlife, told journalists in Nairobi that the sector has been the hardest hit by the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic.

"We should complete the strategy in a couple of weeks and commission it in a month's time," Balala said during the official launch of the COVID-19 vaccination drive for all frontline workers in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Balala said the new vision for the sector will be developed in collaboration with the private sector, while noting that the sector has to make the difficult decision to transform itself in order to survive the current shocks in the tourism industry.

"All stakeholders need to address the issue of how to survive after the pandemic because of the new normal for the sector," he added.

The ministry of tourism observed that there are many emerging dynamics that need to be corrected in order to revive the sector.

Meanwhile, Balala said the vaccination exercise is a major step towards the resumption of activities in the tourism sector which had been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that frontline workers in the tourism and hospitality sector are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 because they come into direct contact with clients.

"Tourism is one of the sectors of our economy that has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and today is therefore an important day for the sector as it marks a crucial step towards the resumption of activities in the sector," Balala said.

The hospitality facilities like restaurants, hotels and bars have been closed because of the risk posed by interaction.

He added that the first phase of the program will see 5,000 workers in the hospitality sector in Nairobi County get vaccinated, further revealing that the industry will be allocated a further 50,000 doses of the jab that will go into the program.

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