The Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) on Wednesday held its inaugural conference, themed “Revolutionizing Africa’s Tourism: The Role Women Play,” in Nairobi, Kenya.
Organizers disclosed that the conference aims to delve into the future of African tourism as a whole, exploring topics such as technology, innovation, sustainability, and climate change, with a particular focus on the integral role women play in shaping the industry’s development.
The conference at Trademark Hotel was opened by Dr. Alfred Mutua, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.
“Kenya’s tourism industry has long been recognized for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse wildlife. However, as we celebrate the successes of our tourism sector, it is crucial to acknowledge the pivotal role that women play in shaping and sustaining this industry,” said Dr. Mutua
Celebrated media personality Julie Gichuru, also a keynote speaker at the conference, made a case for more women to be in decision-making positions to spearhead the women’s agenda.
The conference attracted more than 100 participants including from academia, law practitioners, policymakers, and major stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector. The agenda covered critical aspects such as accessibility, technology, and security, addressing them as catalysts for development and prosperity in African tourism.
“Women’s participation in the tourism industry holds immense significance for many reasons, most notably economic empowerment. However, the realization of these benefits hinges upon the implementation of targeted policies by local and national governments- policies designed to address and uplift women, and create a more equitable and inclusive industry,” Jane Adams, National Chair of KAWT said.
“KAWT is committed to advocating for such policies, recognizing the transformative impact they can have on women’s economic well-being and their position within the industry,” Adams reiterated
Those in attendance engaged in group sessions, exhibitions, and presentations by experts, exploring diverse topics ranging from Pan-African perspectives on best practices to strategies for harnessing Africa’s vibrant tourism potential.
Entities in the hospitality industry, travel agents, policymakers, hotel management, and the private sector gained valuable insights and contributed to the evolution of Africa’s tourism industry.
Founded in March 2011, KAWT has been working to encourage collaboration in Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector.