- The East African Business Council (EABC) has issued a plea to countries in the region to provide additional funding to the tourism sector in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The tourism sector in East Africa has lost a lot of revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The East African Business Council (EABC) has urged countries in the region to make additional funding available in support of the tourism sector, which is facing revenue losses of over $5.4 billion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Urgent fiscal and monetary action is required to help protect jobs, sustain self-employed people, support liquidity for companies, operations and accelerate future recovery, the EABC made this known in a report published Monday on the impact of the outbreak on the tourism sectors of Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.
“Departments of tourism have to make additional funds available to assist small and medium enterprises in the tourism and hospitality sector which are under particular stress due to the travel restrictions,” said the report.
Kenya has already allocated $5 million to fund the nation’s post-pandemic tourism recovery plan.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, tourists have canceled bookings, leaving tour operators and other stakeholders to count losses, it added.
Tourists’ travel cancellations to the region are projected to reach approximately 6.2 million, with the impacts to be felt across associated industries and the rest of the economy, according to the report.
The number of tourists visiting Serengeti in Tanzania fell from 6,000 per day to 24 following the virus.
In Rwanda, where nature tourism contributes significant revenue, tourism and research, as well as gorilla trekking activities in the country’s parks, on the 21st of March was suspended as a preventive measure against COVID-19 spreading.
The Rwanda Convention Bureau, which promotes the country as a tourist destination, has stated that approximately 20 meetings scheduled for March and April have been postponed indefinitely as a result of flight bans.
About $8 million was expected to be generated from these. Also, several in the region have issued indefinite closure notices.
The East African Business Council (EABC) as a result made the plea for the support of tourism in the region.
The novel coronavirus has spread to atleast 184 countries and regions since it appeared in Wuhan, China last December, according to figures published by the US-based John’s Hopkins University.
Over 1.3 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the global death toll nearing 74,000, and more than 275,800 recoveries.Worldwide, more than 1.3 million cases were reported, with the global death toll nearly 74,000, and more than 275,800 recoveries.
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