Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed satisfaction with measures taken by hotel industry players to protect tourists from the coronavirus pandemic.
He said Kenya was ready to receive tourists and encouraged local and foreign travelers to take advantage of prevailing low fares to visit the country’s famous tourist spots.
“I want to take this opportunity to encourage every Kenyan to enjoy and travel… You can travel, you can move,” the president said.
“And now, as you know, we have also opened our skies and the flights are coming. We welcome anyone who chooses to come,” he added.
He spoke at State House, Nairobi on Saturday in a virtual meeting with Kenyan elite marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge.
Mr Kipchoge is Kenya’s new Goodwill Ambassador for Tourism and is in the Masai Mara Game Reserve with his family to witness this year’s annual wildebeest migration.
The President urged Kenyans as well as visitors to continue to observe COVID-19 containment protocols, saying safety is not a government responsibility but an individual choice.
“Security is not really a government issue. It’s an individual choice. To stay safe and in doing so protect everyone,” he said.
He praised Mr Kipchoge for choosing to represent his country as a brand ambassador for ‘Magical Kenya’, saying the marathon runner’s decision was an act of patriotism.
Mr Kipchoge said he would do his best to promote the country as a top travel destination.
He encouraged Kenyans to visit the country’s tourist destinations, saying the pandemic should not stop people from enjoying the country’s tourist attractions.
The virtual meeting was convened by the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala.
Mr Balala said hotels in the Maasai Mara were full for the current high season, mostly by local tourists, and encouraged Kenyans and foreign travelers to visit destinations across the country.
(With the contribution of the Kenyan presidency)