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Kenya calls for tourism industry to unite during COVID-19 crisis

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On Wednesday, 8 April 2020 Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala asked global tourism and travel organisations to form alliances and create synergies in the spirit of collaboration against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis which has affected the industry.

He said this during an Online Tourism Industry summit dubbed ‘Hospitality Tomorrow’ that brought together over two-thousand global hospitality industry heads and professionals from across the globe to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry.

During the virtual summit that attracted a registration of over five-thousand attendees, the professionals, and industry head also discussed the changes expected in the world affecting how people will transact businesses, financially and psychologically, how the signs of recovery will be anticipated and the role of Travel & Tourism in accelerating the momentum for recovery.

“The most important thing right now is that coalitions are coming up and are being mooted, for example, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and Tourism which is working in a united manner globally to see how we can create harmony. This will be crucial in ensuring the growth and survival of the industry during this crisis we find ourselves in,” said Balala.

During the conference, special advisor to the UNWTO Secretary-General, Anita Mendiratta, noted that it was the right time to start conversations so as to make the critical connections needed to build the right understanding, relationships, and actionable solutions to support everyone in the industry for a stronger response against the crisis.

The professionals agreed that the industry needs to leverage on the adversity to ensure that visitors flocked back to their destinations and facilities after the crisis. This will be achieved by harnessing and responding to the crisis through ways that create a bright future for the industry post-COVID-19.

Recently, UNWTO through the Global Tourism Crisis Committee released a set of recommendations calling for urgent and strong support to help the global tourism sector to recover from the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.

Among a raft of recommendations is a checklist of possible measures to help the industries to sustain jobs and support the companies at risk through mitigating the impact on employment and liquidity, protecting the most vulnerable and preparing for recovery.



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