NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 8 – President Uhuru Kenyatta says the tourism sector which was worst hit by COVID-19 economic effects is now on a recovery path.
Speaking during a video link with Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, Narok Governor Samuel Ole Tunai and the magical Kenya ambassador, marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge in Masaai Mara on Saturday, the Head of State exuded confidence of better times ahead.
“All those who have always longed for an opportunity to travel this is your opportunity,” he said.
While revealing that his decision not to subject the country to a second lock-down was aimed at revitalizing the country’s economy particularly the tourism sector, President Kenyatta encouraged Kenyans not to shy away from traveling around the country.
“I take this opportunity to encourage every single Kenyan to take advantage and travel and to recognize that despite COVID-19 as I keep emphasizing, you are as safe as you want yourself to be. If you keep yourself safe you keep everybody else safe,” he said.
He emphasized that with the Kenya airspace now open, the situation is even likely to get better as days progress and assured all the international tourists visiting the country that their safety is guaranteed.
“And now that we have opened up our skies and flights are coming, we welcome all those who choose to come and all those who choose to obey the protocols that we have put in place to come and partake with us and enjoy the beauty of this wonderful land,” he said.
Balala said the Tourism Ministry has set up necessary measures to ensure that Kenyans’ safety and that of international tourists is secured during this period.
“I want to thank Kenyans for accepting to open the economy by themselves and not waiting for other tourists to come and open our economy,” he said.
Narok Governor Tunai, who hosted the Ministry of Tourism delegation and other Kenyans in witnessing the wild beast migration in the iconic Maasai Mara, said that his administration had factored in all the measures to ensure that tourism in the region goes on smoothly.
“My administration has ensured that before any hotel or facility is re-opened, all the staff are tested to be COVID-free and my government is facilitating the testing,” he said.
Kipchoge, who was named as Kenya’s destination ambassador by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), reminded Kenyans that “no human is limited” and encouraged Kenyans to promote the industry by traveling.
“COVID-19 cannot stop Kenyans from traveling, it cannot stop us from reviving our economy. We can beat this,” he said.