• CS called for introduction of curriculum for industry.
Tourism CS Najib Balala has urged the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) to develop standards and certifications for spas and wellness centres in Kenya.
Speaking when he met Spa & Wellness Association of Africa (SWAA) in Mombasa, Balala said the industry is ripe for the establishment of such standards which would conform to global standards, while taking into consideration Kenya’s social and cultural fabric.
He added that such standards would benefit from the introduction of a curriculum with training in the industry through the Kenya Utalii College.
“I believe there is potential in this kind of tourism and that is why I am urging both TRA and SWAA to work together for the formulation and implementation of a series of standards and certifications to help enhance the offering to travelers and tourists,” he said.
Kenya is currently ranked fifth in Africa behind Mauritius, South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco in the spa and wellness industry.
Balala there is a clear indication that there is potential to be explored in the country regarding the matter given that the global wellness industry is valued upwards of $4 trillion (Sh412 trillion).
“It is my conviction that by partnering with the Kenya Utalii College for the development of a training curriculum on spa and wellness, we will have added significant value to the industry and help in its growth and development.
He instructed Tourism principal secretary, Joe Okudo, to draft a Memorandum of Understanding to actualise proposed areas of working with SWAA for official unveiling.
Kenyan participants at the forum that is bringing together participants from Africa, Asia, US and Europe said greatest challenge facing the Spa and wellness industry in Kenya is expense.
Equipment to run such an industry in Kenya cost up to 60-70 per cent times more than in US and Europe.