- The industry faced multiple challenges amid covid-19 pandemic which lead to massive lay offs.
- Despite an improvement in 2021, the sector's employment share has remained below the one registered before the pandemic.
The Kenya Coast Tourist Association (KCTA) has urged incoming county bosses to work closely with the tourism industry to create jobs for millions of unemployed youths.
The tourism and hospitality sector is said to have the potential of hiring an extra 1.2 million people by the end of this year.
KCTA’s vice chair Hasnain Noorani who also is PrideInn’s managing director says the industry faced multiple challenges amid covid-19 pandemic which lead to massive layoffs across the country.
“ In 2021, the tourism sector had to lay off at least 1.2 million people due to the continued impact of covid-19. A year earlier, at least 2.5 million people working in the sector lost their jobs in the first five months of the pandemic,” Noorani said.
He further noted that moving into 2022, the sector is yet to fully recover and absolve most people who were laid off.
A report by Statista notes that employment in travel and tourism in the country represented nearly eight per cent of total employment in 2021.
The sector's contribution to employment increased from 7.3 per cent in 2020. Despite the improvement, the share has remained below the one registered before the pandemic.
As of March this year, the employment level in the sector was at 83 per cent of the number of employees in February 2020, when the level was at 100 percent.
The call by the sector to work closely with the counties is backed by the industry’s continued recovery on increased international arrivals as the level of operations especially in hotels grow.
“Most hotels, especially those in Nairobi and Mombasa, have seen improved performance in the first half of the year compared to a similar period in 2021. This has led to an increased need for more employees, both permanent and casual, to support operations,” Noorani said.
“This is why we invite county governments to collaborate with us whether by bringing conferences to our properties or outsourcing our services.”
Employment opportunities ranging from chefs, IT experts, marketers, security personnel, nutritionists and administrators are of interest to the sector for consideration.