Kenya's tour guides get covid vaccines to boost tourism in East Africa

2021-04-28 14:30:05
Kenya's tour guides get covid vaccines to boost tourism in East Africa

As countries across the world have been prioritizing healthcare staff and other essential workers as they roll out coronavirus vaccines, in Kenya there's another group that are also getting inoculated: tour guides and travel operators

As a part of a government effort to revive the tourism sector in East Africa, around 250 guides from Kenya's famed national parks lined up for their shots in downtown Nairobi.

Among them, Daniel Ole Kissipan. "It is very important especially for our clients both domestic and international."

The vaccination drive comes ahead of the annual wildebeest migration across Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, which borders the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

The migration typically draws several hundred thousand international visitors but last year drew a far smaller number of local tourists.

Kenya's tourism sector lost close to $1 billion in revenue between January and October last year.

Official data shows that the number of foreign visitors plunged by two thirds.

Tour guide Dickson Miroro says they need to get vaccines because they travel around different corners of Kenya.

"We need to be like an agent of propelling the message to the world that we are ready to receive the clients through vaccination, meaning we are safe to handle the clients."

Kenya opened vaccinations to inoculate health staff and other essential workers first.

However, according to the country's main doctors' union, slow uptake led the government to offer the shots more widely.

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