Kenya: The first country awarded the recommended status of the ‘SAFER TOURISM SEAL’
Tourism is one of the world’s leading industries and a major economic development tool, and as such, security (crime and terrorism) has a major impact on the tourism, cruise, and event-oriented economies. Additionally, much of the entire world has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on tourism have been devastating
The government of Kenya takes great pride in its tourism industries. Kenya is known around the world for its natural beauty, its variety of attractions, and the hospitality of its people. The tourism industry provides not only for the people of Kenya a major economic development took but it also helps to improve the nation’s quality of life for all of Kenya’s citizens
Due to the tourism industry, Kenya can take great pride in that many of its public officials are tourism-sensitive, they tend to be more tolerant of the needs of diverse populations, and they seek to offer the general public better service.
In today’s Covid-19 pandemic tourists, as do citizens throughout the world, demand safety and security by well-trained professionals. They understand the relationship between safety, security, reputation, economic viability and health. These five factors when combined are called tourism surety. Each of these factors is essential in winning a Safer Tourism Seal and demonstrating that the awarded entity does everything possible in the way of tourism surety. It must be underscored that there is no 100% safety and security in the world. It is for this reason that our seal is called “safer tourism”. It indicates that the entity awarded such a seal has established a dynamic program, that permits continual upgrades to its surety program and realizes that new measures must be introduced as the situation warrants.
It is, for this reason, Rebuilding Tourism offers its Safer Tourism Seal only to tourism entities, businesses and locales which recognize that the hospitality industry’s number one job is to protect its guests.
Basic concepts of tourism surety
The Kenyan Ministry of Tourism in discussions with Rebuilding Tourism has demonstrated that it understands that tourism surety involves training, education, investments in software and the understanding that security/surety is not a simplistic discipline. In an age of great change and challenges ranging from issues of health to security the Kenyan ministry of tourism has demonstrated that it accepts the fact that its tourism personnel will have continual training and must be flexible enough to adjust their procedure to a constantly changing environment.
The ministry has indicated that it has involved itself in creating a safer tourism product and one that demonstrates to the visitor that the nation is doing everything possible to create a safe, secure and healthy environment by working with international agencies, by participating in regional agencies such as the African Tourism Board and by interacting with tourism security and wellbeing specialists.
The Kenyan Ministry of tourism has indicated that it is taking proactive measures to assure visitors of the safest tourism experience possible. The ministry well understands that no one can assure 100% safety and security and that no one shall fall ill. What it can do is provide the best tourism surety measures possible. For this reason, the government reports that:
In order to control the COVID-19 pandemic the government announced on August 12, 2020, according to the United States Embassy in Kenya the following additional protocols have been established:
The cessation of movement order that barred entry into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Mandera counties lapsed on July 7th.
On July 6 the Government of Kenya announced that the prohibition against social and political gatherings is extended for an additional 30 days.
Bars are closed until further notice. There are no sales of alcoholic drinks and beverages in eateries and restaurants throughout Kenya effective July 28th. The closing time for restaurants and eateries was amended from 8 pm to 7 pm as of July 28th, for the next 30 days.
Places of worship may begin phased re-opening in conformity with applicable guidelines developed by the Inter-Faith Council. As outlined on July 6, guidelines mandate a maximum of one hundred (100) participants allowed at each worship ceremony and must not be more than one hour in duration. In-person worship shall not include congregants under age thirteen (13) years or over fifty-eight (58) or persons with underlying health conditions. Sunday schools and madrassas will remain suspended until further notice.
On May 16th, movement restrictions were imposed into and out of Kenya through the Kenyan-Tanzania and Kenyan-Somali international borders, with exceptions for cargo vehicles.
These 10 principles as stated above should help to: Assure that the nation meets World Health Organization guidelines and as such ensure a safe experience for visitors/guests and service providers. By doing the above the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism will seek to rebuild national, regional, and international trust in the safest tourism experience possible.
Additional Resources: Kenya has adopted the WTTC guidelines known under the WTTC safe travels initiative.