Beyond the pandemic: Cushioning Kenya’s tourism sector 

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The tourism and travel sector is undoubtedly one of the worst hit globally following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arising from the pandemic, the tourism and wildlife sector is experiencing unprecedented health and socio-economic crisis of unimagined proportions. Global response measures have devastated the sector occasioned by travel restrictions. There is undoubtedly no determined end in sight to the pandemic although global efforts to find vaccine(s) and develop guidelines on how to live with COVID-19 have picked momentum. Also Read: How COVID-19 threatens tourism labour in Tanzania According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism continued to outpace the global economy having recorded 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals in 2019 representing a 4% increase from the previous year. Although the UNWTO had projected growth of about 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2020 based on the 2019 growth trends, economic prospects and the UNWTO confidence index, these projections are now in doubt due to the outbreak of the pandemic. In Kenya, tourism remains the third largest contributor to GDP after agriculture and manufacturing. For instance, the number of international visitor arrivals increased by 0.4% to 2.03 million in 2019 whereas tourism earnings grew by 3.9% from

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Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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