NURTURING RESILIENCE WITHIN KENYA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

It is evident that the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic are continuing to be felt by all stakeholders within the tourism industry until now. In such unprecedented times, each player in the industry is encouraged to take a positively impacting role to enhance the industry’s resilience and preparedness for recovery. The GreenTour project objectively ensured that tourism enterprises participating in the project were not left alone in the “long walk”. Below is an overview of our involvement:

  1. Sustainability Coaching: We continued offering our coaching support to all the tour operating companies that were actively reporting on the travelife platform. This was mainly to ensure the tourism enterprises remain committed to specific responsible practices and adopt responsible approaches that would benefit the company during the pandemic and afterwards. Encouragingly, between April and August this year, three companies (Favour Tours & Safaris, Aardwolf Africa Adventure Safaris and Charlie’s Travel) managed to attain partner status.

 

  1. Business Coaching: As the tourism business operations slowed down with the spread of the corona virus in various parts of the world, we encouraged over 20 tourism enterprises enrolled in the 3-year export coaching program of the project to remain proactive and proceed with the development of their export marketing plans and audits. This shall serve as a baseline for these enterprises as they build towards preparedness for the recovery phase. The program has helped to identify tourism business gaps that when addresses will enhance resilience of the enterprises and preparedness for future occurrences so as to minimize negative impacts on the business.

 

  1. Partnerships & collaborations to facilitate capacity building: GreenTour Project partnered with the Kenya Red Cross to ensure that suppliers within the tourism industry undertake training on the Magical Kenya’s Tourism and Travel Health & Safety Protocols. The project sponsored participants from sub-sector associations we collaborate with to ensure they attend the training sessions free of charge. The training was virtually conducted by Kenya Red Cross. Individuals already trained are over 100 comprising of tour operators (Ecotourism Kenya & Kenya Association of Tour Operators(KATO) members), Kenya Tour Driver Guides Association (KTDGA) and Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA).

 

  1. Information sharing: The project’s visibility component played a big role in dissemination of any information on possible opportunities announced by peer organizations for the support of tourism businesses affected by the pandemic. Our social media platforms were a significant space for sharing opportunities and other relevant articles with information regarding COVID19.

GREENTOUR is a 2nd Phase Switch Africa Green project being implemented in Kenya with European Union funding for the period 2018-2021. The project is implemented in Kenya jointly by European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT), Ecotourism Kenya (EK) and the Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO). Other partners include Collaborating Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (CSCP) and ABTA – The Travel Association. The project’s main objective is to replicate tourism industry sustainability best practices into the Kenyan and wider African tourism supply chain through an integrated business led approach. Read more about the project here.

 

ECOTOURISM KENYA| programs@ecotourismkenya.org| #GreenTourWednesday| 30th September, 2020

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