Kenya to develop tourism resilience index to aid in post-COVID-19 recovery

NAIROBI, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is planning to develop a Tourism Resilience Index to aid in the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, a government official said on Thursday.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told journalists in Nairobi that the government will partner with stakeholders to build the index which will help the country gauge its level of preparedness to maintain or resume operations during and after a crisis such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The index will go a long way in ensuring our industry remains vibrant and competitive," Balala said during a visit to the global tourism resilience and crisis management center at Kenyatta University.

He noted that the tourism resilience center is a resource institution that is dedicated to conducting relevant research and analysis so that the Kenyan destination preparedness, management and recovery, in times of crises, are all guided by policies emanating from and informed by scientific research.

The government official noted that tourism and travel are one of the largest economic activities in Kenya that contribute immensely to revenue generation and employment with important linkages to other sectors of the economy.

"This, therefore, calls for strategies and sustained efforts to ensure that the tourism industry's resilience is not only enhanced, but guaranteed for the continued development of the country and the sustenance and improvement of the livelihoods of Kenyans," Balala noted.

The tourism ministry said that it is doing everything possible to ensure that the tourism industry in Kenya gets back on its feet at the earliest possible opportunity.

Balala revealed that gradually, the sector is getting back to normal led by a strong domestic travel industry, through strict adherence to the laid down COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

"We also anticipate that the ongoing global vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will enable visitors to return in number. It will also ensure the safety of our destination," he said.

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