Tourism Fund Chief Executive Officer Joseph Cherutoi (pictured)
and the agency’s Corporate Services Director Eric Kiplagat have resigned.
The two officials’ resignation was revealed yesterday in an internal memo sent to staff by the fund’s board chairman Alfonse Kioko.
Mr Kioko said the board has met to appoint an acting chief executive, pending a substantive appointment. “This is a major change in our organisation and we request all staff to continue with their normal duties so that their performance is not affected in any way,” said Kioko.
The Tourism Fund is a state corporation established under the Tourism Act, 2011. Its mandate is to mobilise resources to finance development of the tourism industry in Kenya. It is a levy collection agency acting on behalf of the government.
Mr Cherutoi and Mr Kiplagat’s resignations have occurred just days after Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala announced that the tourism sector has lost about Sh80 billion since the breakout of Covid-19 in December last year.
Mr Balala projected that for the first half of the current financial year, Kenya would receive just 30 per cent of expected revenue.
The government has initiated a special budget of Sh2 billion to resuscitate the industry.
It will come in the form of attractive loans that will help investors put up tourism infrastructure, such as hotels, restaurants and other related businesses.
Balala said as the global pandemic continues to eat into the tourism sector, government interventions are needed to save it.