Tourism

Return of tourism to Kenya: here's where it can be good

Prospects and hopes for the upcoming peak season

15-11-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

The return of tourism to Kenya can only do good in many ways, although it will never be the solution to an African country's economic and social recovery. It is not the cure, but an excellent restorative, in short.
It is good first and foremost for the wages of thousands of workers (two million people, according to Kenyan chamber of commerce figures, including direct and induced workers) who are often debased by seasonal contracts, grueling training and sometimes forced "pick-up and drop-offs." Then for the businesses themselves, at all levels: from large hotels to small safari agencies, to boutiques or even local craft kiosks. Many of these businesses, during the pandemic and in the difficult 2022 of recovery, were forced to close or scale back their business and expectations. More people working and bringing home a paycheck means families who can feed themselves and children who can go to school; it means fewer hungry people who may be forced to live on gimmicks and petty crime.
Finally, tourism is good for the country's economy because if 2 million travelers a year come back as they did in the pre-pandemic period, for the state it means bringing in fresh money, convenient foreign currency to keep inflation from skyrocketing.
And it is well established, confirmed by numbers and statistics, that among so many tourists who come, many will decide to invest in this country and become taxpayers, or even simply retirees or well-off people who spend in Kenya.
This is why the season ahead can bring back the hope of seeing full and wealth-carrying tourism again, and to see the new government taking a stand and taking a stand, trying to facilitate entry, stay and services in Kenya while at the same time ensuring welcome and security. To make big numbers there is a need for all kinds of tourists, from the millionaire booking super-luxury lodges in the Masai Mara and Samburu, to the family arriving by charter for an all-inclusive vacation in a coastal village, from the influencer couple taking a month to tour the country far and wide, to the retiree who will not move from the small town where he rents an apartment, from the perfectionist who wants every comfort to the backpacking "backpacker" who adapts to every situation. In a time of tremendous, enduring drought and food emergencies, tourism can help, provided that those who come to Kenya, although they have in mind as their priority having fun, relaxing and enjoying their vacation, also manage in their own small way to realize where they have landed and the historical moment in which they arrived here. We are sure that in his own small way something many will be able to do. In the meantime, "karibu Kenya!"

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