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Kenya eyes countries with high vaccination rates to boost revival of tourism

Kenya plans to target countries with high vaccination levels in order to boost the revival of the tourism sector that has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, noted that Kenya is seeking tourists from China, the United States and Britain to make visits to Kenya.

“2021 is almost ending and the crisis of quarantines and the Delta variant is complicating our efforts to revive the hospitality sector. We need foreign tourists who are fully vaccinated,” Balala said.

According to the state-owned Tourism Research Institute, 305 635 tourists visited Kenya in the first six months of 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic cut international travel.

Balala said that vaccination of the local population will also help to attract more international visitors as they feel safer in the country.

He remained optimistic that over 20 million Kenyans will have received double vaccination jabs by the end of the year so that the country can create a safe travel bubble with countries that have fully vaccinated their populations.

The Kenyan official said that 2022 and 2023 should be rebuilding years for Kenya’s tourism sector.

“We project that the tourism sector will return to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2024,” Balala added.

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