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DEAD TOURISM

Malindi, Watamu tourism investors want state to open skies

The investors claim tourism revival is key as they incurred huge losses as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In Summary

• Pasquale Tirito, the chairman of Jacaranda Beach Resort, said some countries have already begun opening, while the area that is a renowned tourism destination is still closed.

• In a statement, Tirito said they are opposed to reckless opening  and noted there has to be proper structures the risks of spreading the virus are minimised.

Tourism Investors in the North Coast region have made a passionate appeal to the government to reopen the hotels under Covid-19 guidelines to save the industry.

The investors mainly from Malindi, Watamu, and Mamburi say they have lost business worth millions of shillings since the Covid-19 pandemic struck the country on March 12.

Pasquale Tirito, the chairman of Jacaranda Beach Resort, said some countries have already begun opening, while the area that is a renowned tourism destination is still closed.

 

In a statement, Tirito said they are opposed to reckless opening  and noted there has to be proper structures the risks of spreading the virus are minimised.

He said there is a need for a road map by the government to reopen the economy, particularly the tourism sector.

''We can't wait until the virus will be finally defeated all over the world to restart operations. And we can neither rely on the domestic and regional markets only. We have to bear in mind that it will take years to recover as was the case in 2018-19. The late we start, the late we'll recover,'' he said.

Already, he said, Europe will make a decision on how and when the citizens will be allowed to travel for tourism outside the European Union on June 15.

In Italy, Tirito said, the government allowed its citizens to travel from June 15 while France is yet to make a decision.

He said some Shengen countries  opened their doors for tourism on June 3, while Greece will open its international flights on July 1.

For Kenya, he said, the government needs to  develop cautious measures to reopen the economy, including airlines operating to and from Kenya to be required to comply with sanitation rules.

Further, he said all passengers must be taken temperature measurements before leaving their own country and on arrival in Kenya.

"Tourists should come only if arriving from airports where the most careful measures are taken,'" he said.

The chairman said the tourism resorts must also be compelled to accept tour operator clients arriving from airports that have adhered to the measures and ensure contracts are updated accordingly.