Government releases Ksh 2B to cushion hospitality sector

Written By: Christine Muchira

Intensive marketing, domestic tourism as well as international conferences are some of the main factors that will drive the hospitality sector in 2018.

The government has released two billion shillings from the exchequer to cushion the hospitality sector that has been adversely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Speaking Monday during the Madaraka Day celebrations at State House Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the stakeholders of the hospitality industry will meet to finalise on the protocols to guide the processes of re-opening the sector.

“The Tourism Sector has suffered some of the most severe shocks – due to restricted movement, termination of international flights and the introduction of social distancing protocols,” said the President.

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On Friday, tens of employees working for the Fairmont Norfolk in Nairobi and Mara Safari Club in Narok lost their jobs following the indefinite closure of business due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The hotels’ general manager Mehdi Morad said they have ceased their operations as a spiral effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

He said it was the decision of the management to terminate the services of all its employees due to frustration by way of mutual separation and taking into account the loyalty and the dedication the employees have put into the success of the company in the previous years.

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While noting that the containment measures issued by the government were necessary, he acknowledged the disruptions they have caused Kenyans.

Last Saturday the President announced 8 Point Economic Stimulus Programme – in this programme the government dispatched 53.7 Billion to Kenyan households.

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The government had earlier reduced taxes to enhance the affordability of products.

“We have reduced taxes to enhance affordability of all products by reducing VAT from 16% to 14%, and increased the earnings and purchasing power of all employees by reducing PAYE, and also incentivized businesses to retain staff and operations by reducing Corporation Tax,” said President Kenyatta.

The President noted that new measures will be to fight Covid-19 will be announced in the coming days.

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