Publish Time：2021-09-18 20:40:28Source：WTCF
【Introduction】：Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the tourism industry of the world has been affected to varying degrees. On September 3, the "WTCF Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit & World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development" was held in Beijing, providing a platform for world tourism cities to exchange with and learn from each other, and to discuss industry development directions and measures.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the tourism industry of the world has been affected to varying degrees. On September 3, the "WTCF Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit & World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development" was held in Beijing, providing a platform for world tourism cities to exchange with and learn from each other, and to discuss industry development directions and measures.
During the conference, Sarah J.C Serem, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to China was interviewed by WTCF to share Kenya's experience in fighting the pandemic and achieving tourism development. According to her, Kenya will actively deal with the pandemic and carry out international cooperation to win the fight against the pandemic as soon as possible and welcome international tourists.
WTCF: What do you feel the most impressed during this period by now?
H.E. Sarah J.C Serem: I think it's more of sharing of experiences that we as global people, we have faced the same problem. And it's important that we have come together to see how we can mitigate, how we can solve, how we can jointly come together to revive one of the most critical industries in any nation, and that is tourism. So, for me, I think just coming together and sharing experiences is one of the best things that can happen in such a time.
WTCF: What measures has Kenya taken to recover its tourism industry? And what is the direction of its future development?
H.E. Sarah J.C Serem: Tourism, as I must state, is one of the most vibrant industries in Kenya. So the impact of COVID was really devastating. It had to focus on a new strategy, that is domestic tourism. So we took a lot of measures to promote domestic tourism, to encourage the movement of its own people moving from one city to the other. Much of the work used to promote international tourism have now been repacked, so that we can focus on domestic tourism. Kenya also has established a stimulus fund. And the fund is to help the tourism industry to refurbish its own policy framework, also for the hotels to refurbish, and meet the new norm with COVID protocols for the introduction of safety measures. It's also moved to ensure that those serving in the hospitality industry have been vaccinated, so that they are able to be safe and even encourage more tourists to come in. We've also moved to open the air space. You know, the restrictions on travel have now been eased. That, in a way, will encourage people from the outside to move in and visit Kenya. But, of course, that is also with restrictions, it means you must be COVID-free. In this time, we encourage as many people to take COVID vaccine. So that we encourage safety movements in ensuring that the people are operating in a safe environment. So a lot of domestic tourism has been repacked in Kenya, and that is what is thriving the country. In the meantime, Kenya is ensuring that it is preparing itself for the tomorrow, and that is improving all its infrastructures. The development that has taken place particularly in the city of Nairobi, is to make sure that the ease of accessibility, that the efficient transport system. And that is what is happening, even when tourism industry is going down. The entire country is focused on how to improve. So once it's open, there will an efficient transport system.
WTCF: What kind of cooperation has been carried out between Kenya and China since the breakout of the COVID-19? And what is the focus of the cooperation between these two countries?
H.E. Sarah J.C Serem: Kenya and China have been friends for a very long time. It's only during the COVID, that this friendship is solidified. Because China stood with Kenya and Kenya stood with China when it started off initially. And when the COVID now moved to Kenya, China was the first country to give support, in terms of PP kits, test kits all that to mitigate the impact of COVID. And this has been a strong partnership, meaning they are walking with us when we are up and performing well, and also when we are down during the COVID times. So we're looking at the refurbishment of all the industries, including tourism, and China is coming with the support. The WTCF is one of those platforms that I know we will use to make sure that we are able to learn and share experiences. We are able to use that platform to be able to attract the Chinese tourists, which I think is the focus of Kenya. We want as many Chinese to visit Kenya as possible.
WTCF: How Kenya can use its advantages and resources to help improve the international tourism industry?
H.E. Sarah J.C Serem: I think the bottom line here is ensuring our country's safe. We cannot be isolated. And we know, until COVID is controlled in the entire world, the world is not safe. So, Kenya will be participating in ensuring that it has vaccinated its greatest of the population. It is also maintaining the restricting COVID protocols, so that we are not the one to transfer the virus across. So that control measures are ensuring that we are partnering with the world to bring this COVID pandemic to an end. And once that is done, we will launch smooth movement of operation again. So Kenya is very much at the forefront in fighting and controlling COVID at the same time.