Narok tourism sector massive revenue loss sparked by Corona

Olaro Conservancy is on the way to Oloolaimutia Gate in Maasai Mara.

By Our Reporter

At A Glance…

-On approximation the Maasai Mara game reserve brings about 2.5 billion each financial year to Narok County. Therefore the county will be losing 2.25 billion if the cessations will be extended by the National Government.

–The Ministry of Tourism has estimated that since the first case of the coronavirus was reported, Kenya has lost Sh80 billion and is expected to lose more if the pandemic will not be contained.

–Even though the Narok County boss sounded disappointed by the cessations, he said that saving lives was much more important than generating income for the county.

The first case of Coronavirus disease was reported in December 31st December 2019 at Wuhan China and the World Health Organisation was informed of a possible outbreak in other areas. A few weeks later on 13th January 2020 the first case was reported outside China raising concern over the virus whose carriers exhibit flu like symptoms.

Kenya’s Ministry of Health put in place guidelines to avert the spread of the disease.

On 15 March last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that travel from any countries with any case of coronavirus be restricted. This was the onset of chaos for the Ministry of Tourism.

Maasai Mara Game Reserve hoteliers immediately started receiving cancellations from international tourists.

On April 6th President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a cessation of movement in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area for a containment period of 21 days.

From then on some of the domestic tourists, especially those from counties such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale cancelled their visits.

According to a statistics survey conducted by Statista, in the first half of 2020, 45 percent of tourism businesses in Kenya estimated a revenue loss above 2.5 million Kenyan shillings, as an effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Roughly 23 percent of businesses indicated losing from 500 thousand to 1 million shillings, while approximately 15 percent of businesses pointed a loss of revenue above 500 thousand shillings.

The Ministry of Tourism has estimated that since the first case of the coronavirus was reported Kenya has lost Sh80 billion and is expected to lose more if the pandemic will not be contained.

Kenya soon reopened its borders to international tourists in August last year and some form of normalcy resumed in the tourism sector.

The hospitality sector was urged to expand its tourism products to boost post-COVID-19 recovery.

The industry has just slightly gotten from its Knees but another lockdown was imposed by the National Government on March 26th 2020.

A majority of international flights around the world land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport located in Nairobi.

Narok County Governor Samuel Tunai who is also the chair for Tourism in the Council of Governors, said that this brought about massive losses to the Maasai Mara tourism industry.

He said that the county will lose up to ninety percent of revenue generated from the reserve.

“As you know our County Government majorly depends on the Maasai Mara Game reserve for income generation,” he added.

“On approximation the Maasai Mara game reserve brings about 2.5 billion each financial year to Narok County. Therefore the county will be losing 2.25 billion if the cessations will be persisted by the National Government,” he noted.

Even though the County boss sounded disappointed by the move, he said that saving lives was much more important than generating income for the county.

In turn, the cessation brought about loss of jobs for those working in the hotel industry consequently the county’s revenue allocation will soon be drastically affected.

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