08-06-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
These are uncertain times for those who must, by profession or need, venture hypotheses about the future and organize themselves accordingly.
No one can predict, except with wide margins of error, how the world will turn in the coming months.
One can speculate on the recovery of the economy, on the damage in the world of work, on the psychological damage for the human race and, consequently, also on tourism, which is one of the souls of commerce.
In the relations between Italy and Kenya, which is the main sector we are dealing with, we are experiencing in the last few days a decided reversal of trends: in Italy the new cases are counted on the fingers of a primary school classroom; in Kenya if we were to do the same swabs that are analyzed every 24 hours in the former hotbed nation of Europe, in projection we would have five times its infected.
Yet Kenya is holding up well and is doing so because it is aware that it cannot offer adequate health guarantees to its people. Nor can it do so in the short term, because despite having received more than EURÂ 500Â million in aid, it will take time to organise centres with intensive care and facilities to combat the serious cases of Covid-19.
This is despite the fact that the virus in equatorial Africa does not seem to be as powerful as when it deflagrated in Italy.
Faced with this scenario, which advised President Kenyatta to extend the main restrictions adopted last March 27th and still keep the country closed, with the two counties where there are the only active international airports, the tourism and hospitality sector that was ready to start again immediately in an attempt to save the summer season (which for safaris means Great Migration, a phenomenon of 300 thousand tourists a year and for the sea a fair share of travelers and "package holidays") is now located in embassies.
Imagining, but without being sure, a reopening next July 6, how can any tour operator sell Kenya to those who want an African holiday?
Meanwhile Tanzania (and therefore Zanzibar) reopens and invites foreigners to the social distances of its parks and national reserves and the health organization of its seaside resorts. Something Kenya has decided not to do, perhaps with a greater sense of responsibility, perhaps pushed by those who have granted it loans, often on a non-repayable basis, which instead the Tanzanian "cousins" have not received.
So much so, in the meantime, for this August we will have to make do with "very last minute" foreigners and local tourism. Looking at it positively, a slow start will give the possibility to be ready, prepared and loaded for next winter.
Hoping that everyone will get there and that the Government, especially in terms of taxes, licenses and benefits, will give a hand to those who are now forced to a long period of inactivity and would not want to get their employees into trouble, while safeguarding their business.
No hypothesis, just great attention and work on the side of the Ministry of Tourism to make itself heard and for once really do the interests of those who have invested so much in Kenya and thanks to its facilities and professionalism brought to this country, every year pays into the coffers of the Kenyan State millions and millions, contributes to the arrival of tens of thousands of tourist visas and an induced that gives work to at least two million.
The shows never seem to end this August by the many events in Malindi.
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