Baringo County has lost revenue worth Ksh.95 million from the tourism sector as a result of adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding.
According to Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis, the county lost 95 percent of its yearly revenue due to the reduced number of tourists in the region.
International travel advisories issued by many countries affected the number of travelers as many tourists suspended or cancelled their tours due to the pandemic.
The county also suffered a double setback as floods destroyed hotels and lodges along the shores of Lakes Baringo and Bogoria further crippling provision of services.
“The county gets a revenue of Ksh.100 million every year from tourists who visit Lakes Bogoria and Baringo and we lost about 95 percent of the collection as very few tourists visited the lakes,” said Governor Kiptis.
The Governor, while issuing coffee seedlings to farmers in Bartolimo ward, said he is hopeful the sector will slowly recover and revealed the county’s plan to shift focus from overdependence on sectors that are susceptible to climate change.
The county now intends to start planting coffee, macadamia nuts, Hass avocados, tree tomatoes and tissue cultured bananas among other enterprises as alternative sources of livelihoods.
- Kenya’s imports from Tanzania surpasses its exports first time in decades
- Kenya’s lion population up 31% in 13 years
- Not so soon! Tourism projected to fully recover in 2024
“We have decided to give seedlings to farmers to carry out coffee farming as an alternative to depending on tourism after the COVID- 19 pandemic.”
He further asked the coffee farmers to take advantage of the recently commissioned Katimok coffee factory and increase the acreage of the cash crop as the factory which has the capacity to mill 1.2 tons per hour would be more profitable with the availability of more coffee.
The governor distributed 30,000 seedlings to local farmers ahead this planting season.
Tourism revival setback
The sector is far from revival following the just released travel advisory by the United States to Kenya over rising cases of coronavirus and crime.
This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a level three travel health notice for Kenya due to the virus, indicating a high level of the virus in the country.
According to the U.S State Department, the risk of its people contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if they are fully vaccinated.
Americans planning to any international travel, are being highly advised to review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.
The advisory alert captures the counties of Tana River, Lamu, areas of Kilifi and North of Malindi.
Days ago, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the sector was targeting visitors from countries that have vaccinated the majority of their population including the U.S, U.K and China to aid its recovery process.
The Ministry of Tourism has projected that the full revival of the Tourism sector to the 2019 figures is set for 2024.