Tuqa Jirmo is dismayed by the devastating effects Covid-19 has had on the tourism sector.
He is not naive to totally write off Kenyans’ resilience to rise again, but he knows a lot will have to be done especially now that it is not clear when the foreign markets will start to be active again.
In an interview with Weekend Business, Dr Jirmo (pictured), chairman of Domestic Tourism Association said county governments will have to work hard to promote the sector.
“Each of the 47 devolved units has diverse and very unique attractions. We know that in some instances there has been mapping of key tourist attractions like the battlefield tourism in Taita Taveta county which has rich detailed history of the infamous First World War,” he said.
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“There is also the desert tourist in Northern Kenya, agritourism in central and larger parts of the Rift Valley. All these are unique and add to the beauty of our destination.”
“The initial lockdown of the coastal towns and Nairobi affected the free movement of people. Tourism businesses that depend on them were affected,” he added.
Jirmo said over 60 per cent of hotel occupancy during the Covid-19 pandemic has been as a result of domestic tourism.
“International tourist arrivals are almost nil. Tourism businesses need to be jump-started and we are looking towards getting assistance from the stimulus package announced by President Uhuru Kenya,” he said.