The hotel and tour industry is one of
the worst-hit since the coronavirus disease was reported in the country, March
2020. Considering the sector is one of the major contributors to the country’s
economy –generating 8.8 percent of the GDP –efforts have been laid to restore
cash flow in the sector. Such exertions like the partnership between the Kenya
Tourism Board (KTB) and Jambojet, which aims at promoting domestic tourism, can
earn the country’s economy back to its roots.
Domestic tourism, which relates to
activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual
environment –but within their country of residence –for not more than one year
for leisure, business, and other purposes, has become the new normal for the
sector to embrace.
Since it accounts for over 70 percent
of the travel and tourism sector in major economies globally, aviation
stakeholders have all it takes to improve it, as most countries have not yet
lifted travel bans, reducing the number of international tourists.
Jambojet and KTB aim at driving the
conversation deeper in reviving the sector, which has seen the unemployment
rate double to 10.4 percent, with an estimated 1.7 million Kenyans had lost
their jobs since March 2020.
According to Jambojet Acting Managing
Director Karanja Ndegwa, the carrier is set to continue offering local tourists
low-cost travel to their destinations, adding that the deal with KTB involves
branding one of Jambojet’s De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft for one year.
“Last year we launched the ‘Now
Travel Ready’ campaign to encourage domestic tourism as part of Covid-19
recovery. We aimed at showcasing the new normal of travel —from the moment you
leave your home, to when you get to the airport, your in-flight experience,
arrival at your destination, the hotels you can stay at, and the measures in
place, as well as the activities you can take part in,” said Mr. Ndegwa.
The campaign also includes a
partnership with hotels across the regions the carrier flies to, and who are
working in line with the safety protocols, to encourage travel in the new
KTB Chief Executive Officer Betty
Radier affirms the partnership lauding the local carrier for having contributed
to the growth of tourism by enabling accessibility to tourism destinations in
Radier notes that this partnership is
among the many ventures the board has explored intending to grow the
destination tourism offerings, following Oxford Economics and global Travel
report (2020-2021), which showed that domestic and regional travel will
dominate the tourism industry in 2021 compared to international tourism.
The country continues to fight the
spread of the Covid-19 pandemic –with a week of vaccine arrival in the country
and the emergence of the new wave of infections –international travel and tour
continue to face restrictions which can take a better part of the year.
As of March 17, 2021, the country’s
Covid-19 total caseload stood at 116,310, after the ministry of health recorded
1,297 new cases from a sample size of 7,450.