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Kenya’s tourism stakeholders mull safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Kenya‘s tourism and hospitality sector players vowed on Friday to adhere to all safety and hygiene protocols against COVID-19 pandemic to instill confidence to both domestic and international travelers.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), a government marketing body, said hospitality has been among the first sectors in the country to be reopened with eateries and restaurants gradually reopening within set out guidelines of safety.

Betty Radier, KTB CEO, said safety measures against COVID-19 new normal operating environment is a priority which will be only achieved through well-defined industry protocols.

“The opening of travel will begin with domestic, here we should begin to show our preparedness and that we are ready to make sure that they are safe within our facilities,” Radier said during a tourism sector roundtable webinar hosted by the KTB.

The meeting brought together industry players to deliberate on the sector’s preparedness for resumption.

She pointed out that already facilities were picking and embracing hygiene and preparedness protocols.

“We have been able to see that with Nairobi National Park showing clarity in protocols and this has seen an increase in visitor uptake to the facility,” Radier said.

Kenya tourism is the third-largest source of foreign exchange, supporting about 1.5 million jobs especially in rural areas and dominates the service sector.

Mike Macharia, CEO of Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) said that he was confident that the industry is able to ensure that there is a set of protocols that are strictly adhered to by all to ensure that clients are confident with the services provided.

“As an industry, we have come up with a set of protocols. We believe that we can win this fight, we just need to focus. What is required is communication on behavioral change especially in other subsectors like transport to ensure that the numbers don’t continue to increase,” Macharia.

Alex Gitari, acting managing director of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), said that the organization is aligned to the measures that have been provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“I want to confirm that all the measures that we have come up with are in line with what ICAO provided. Some of them to mention a few are sanitization from the screening yard to the terminal building. We are also disinfecting the equipment within the airport as well as physical distancing within the premises of the airports,” Gitati said.

(XINHUA)

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