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Tourism Kenya: 130 billion lost in 2020

CS Balala "Thanks to hoteliers, ready to restart"

04-01-2021 by redazione

130 billion shillings, about 100 million euros.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, this is the amount of losses in the sector over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was announced by Minister Najib Balala, who added that the total debacle, due to cancelled or interrupted trips, has also led to the closure of facilities and consequently to massive layoffs of casual workers in the hospitality sector, with others being sent on holiday, often unpaid, or forced to accept pay cuts.
This, but the Minister does not say so, is also due to the absolute lack of social shock absorbers for the sector, and especially for employees. On the other hand, as far as hospitality and leisure facilities are concerned, the two percentage points cut in taxes has certainly not helped to improve the situation, especially when compared to the expenses incurred for the safe reopening following Covid-19 protocols, new licences and so on.
The trend of the past years, if it had been confirmed, could have brought into the coffers of the State, moreover in foreign currency, about 175 billion shillings, given that in 2018 157 had come in and in 2019 the total had risen to 164.
Last year's figures also note that about 3000 tourists who are used to spending three to six months in the country left Kenya before the flight closures.
Italy, through the excellent work of its Embassy in Nairobi and Consulate in Malindi, was the country that brought back the highest number of people, about 700 with three different flights.
Other countries operated flights for EC citizens.
"We would like to thank the private sector for all its contribution in keeping the tourism industry afloat - It was they who often provided hot meals to frontline health workers, distributed essential goods, including food, to communities around conservation areas, as well as engaging with the Ministry of Tourism in drafting the Kenya Tourism and Health Protocols for the New Normal."
Balala did not rule out new measures by the Government to revive tourism in the coming months, with the introduction of "stimulus" measures for hotels and the reduction of some industry taxes.
"It goes without saying that the immediate opportunity is to boost domestic and continental tourism and position Kenya as the tourism and gold centre to access the rest of the East African region," the Minister finally added, "We have what it takes to make this happen if we adopt an agile mindset. For example, we cannot offer the same premium prices to the domestic market as we do to international ones. This is because international tourists visit Kenya on average only once, while domestic tourists have the potential to visit a certain local destination over and over again, becoming our Ambassadors."

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