Tourism presents numerous interlinkages between many sectors through aviation, restaurants, cultural centres, sports facilities, ICT and many more.
Speaking during the World Tourism Day celebrations commemorated in Kwale County, today, the Principal Secretary for the State Department of Tourism, Hon. Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, expressed her delight towards the different celebrations across different counties in marking the day.
“Diani beach has been voted as Africa’s Leading Beach Destination for 6 times in a row since 2014, that is why the Ministry chose to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day in Kwale county. With this year’s theme being ‘Tourism for inclusive growth’, we appreciate efforts by other counties such as Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Lamu, Uasin Gishu, Meru and May others in marking this day. This way, we will be able to showcase the unique products we have as a country, and promoting Kenya as an all-inclusive destination,” said PS Kwekwe.
The 3-day packed event is going to feature beach cleanliness, beach volleyball tournaments, and a stakeholders engagement.
“Sports tourism is one of the major areas we are looking to tap into in promoting our Magical destination. To further enhance beach cleanliness, we will be launching a beach cleaning program effective January 2022, where the beach operators will be the key drivers,” added PS Kwekwe.
Tourism is a key pillar in the vision 2030 and contributes about 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the economy. The role of the Ministry is to develop policies that would guide the sector to maximize the existing potential towards improving economic livelihoods to the citizens.
The tourism sector, like other sectors of the economy has borne the brunt of Covid-19 pandemic with international tourists dropping from 1,513,241 in the financial year 2019/2020, to 483,257 in the year 2020-2021. The revenue has also dipped from Ksh. 127.9 billion in financial year 2019/20, to 78.34 billion in 2020/2021.
“There is potential in domestic tourism, that is why we urge the facilities to embrace technology and reinvent their products and services in order to attract more domestic tourists,” said PS Kwekwe.