Kenya plans to upgrade skills of its tourism personnel to boost recovery of the sector, Najib Balala, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism said on Tuesday.
Balala said this at the virtually tourism and hospitality professionals’ roundtable and the launch of the masters in hospitality business management programme at Strathmore University in Nairobi.
Balala said that in 2020, the industry was likely to generate only half of 2019 revenues due to travel restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“To boost recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector, workers need re-skilling, re-invention and innovation,” Balala said.
Balala noted that in 2019, approximately 2.05 million international tourists visited Kenya generating about 175 billion shillings (about 1.6 billion dollars) in revenues.
He observed that the sector would not fully recover until mid-2021 due to international travel restrictions currently in place by most countries.
Balala added that tourists were quite informed and therefore equally demanding, owing to the advances in information and communications technologies.
“Which means that decisions as to the choice of travel to destinations are made based on real time information and not necessarily the tourist brochures.
“Therefore, the personnel of tomorrow in the tourism sector will need to be passionate about the industry.
“They will be required to be professionals who can multi-task and be excellent as all-rounded workers,” he revealed.
According to the ministry of tourism, Kenya’s safari and beach tourism products face rising competition from the traditional competitors as well as new destinations.
“Skills upgrading is, therefore, key in offering diverse product experiences,” Balala said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Isaac Aregbesola