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Tourism, Wildlife Conservation and Covid 19

Tourism has become one of the country’s biggest Corona Virus victims. It has exhibited all the symptoms – shortness of breath, fatigue, fevered calls for help, and a high temperature of anxiety about the future.

We are all scrambling, trying to figure out ways to maintain this sector, and in Laikipia, in particular, we are trying to figure ways to fill the strong $$ contribution that the tourism sector plays in conservation, employment, corporate social responsibility and county revenue.

This is a great opportunity to rethink our Kenya world of tourism – a chance to reflect and “build back better.”  But are we discussing, let alone working towards the NEW Normal? A world characterized by fewer international guests; decreased fuel costs? New health regulations? Fewer surviving businesses, fewer jobs, less external support for wildlife conservation?

Think about it. If the GOK loses tourism revenue, will there be a proportional decrease in the federal budget for our parks, reserves and sanctuaries?

Will more of our citizens turn to bushmeat for sustenance in the face of the Virus, the locusts, and the floods?

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife is attempting to manage the crisis – and opened the first public discourse on the subject. Here is what the Minister and the experts say.

We believe that now is the time for an interdisciplinary approach to our tourism and conservation sector – not just the tourism business sector, but conservationists, joined by capital market experts, joined by youth, by public health practitioners, and others.

What do you say? We look forward to hearing from you.

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