PANDEMIC IMPACTS

Concerted efforts needed to save hospitality industry

Individual efforts are also necessary to help increase revenues

In Summary

• Given the pandemic is still with us, the sector is yet to recover and for it to do so, it will be prudent for key sector players to join hands in helping it rise again.

• This can only be done through joint efforts among stakeholders in the government and the private sector.

Coronavirus impact on travel, tourism industry
Coronavirus impact on travel, tourism industry

The hospitality industry covers a vast area of industries were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given the pandemic is still with us, the sector is yet to recover and for it to do so, it will be prudent for key sector players to join hands in helping it rise again. This can only be done through joint efforts among stakeholders in the government and the private sector.

For food and beverages, tourism, events and recreation businesses to recover individual efforts are also necessary to help increase revenues and improve living standards as we continue to battle the pandemic.

That said, these activities must range from policies to financials, if necessary. They might involve giving these businesses waivers or grants. For instance, when Kenya Breweries Limited launched the “Raise a bar” campaign across its beverage joints in the country, the majority of the pubs and bars had reason to stay afloat because of the supportive funds.

Through the fund, which is part of Diageo’s Sh11 billion global fund to support bars and pubs bounce back from closure during the pandemic period,many businesses have survived.

This is a good move that other stakeholders in the industry can borrow a leaf from.

The stimulus package of Sh2 billion by the Tourism Finance Corporation was also a huge boost for hotel operators. The amount helped hotels, tour operators and airlines to support local tourism. The industry is now picking up slowly.

Alive to the fact that the pandemic might be here to stay — considering the vaccines have not been rolled out and there are mutations — it will be important for all the stakeholders to join hands in deliberating on how businesses can stay afloat while battling the pandemic.

With such joint efforts, the hospitality industry will have a better story to tell in 2021, create more opportunities for people and improve standards for local and international hospitality markets.

Lavender Kimani, Nairobi county