Kenya, Jamaica set up joint centre to address tourism challenges


Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA

The Kenyan and Jamaican governments will open a Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at Kenyatta University to address challenges that affect their economies.

The disclosure were made Wednesday at Kenyatta University when Jamaican Minister for Tourism Edmund Bartlett held a meeting with top management of the university and Kenyan government representatives.

The project was mooted by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he visited Jamaica earlier this year.

Mr Bartlett said the initiative will play a key role in addressing issues such as terrorism and cyber security threats.

“Globally, tourism has negatively been affected by terrorism and cyber security and this partnership seeks to embrace meaningful collaborations that address some of these challenges,’’ said Mr Bartlett.

Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina said the project also seeks to deal with calamities that negatively affect Kenya’s economy as well as other disturbances such as climate change.

“The centre will play a key role in positioning Kenya as a hospitality hub globally and at the same time provide practical research findings that offer climate change and security solutions,” said Prof Wainaina.

He said: “Kenyatta University has already identified the space that will be used for this project and we are ready for its official launch by March next year.”

Besides Kenyatta University, the University of the West Indies will also play a key role in the initiative.

The centre will be working closely with the Ministry of Tourism led by Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala who is spearheading the initiative by soliciting for the funds from different partners.

Information gathered by the centre is expected to help Kenya’s intelligence agencies to proactively deal with security threats such as terrorism and cyber security.

Kenya is a well-known tourism destination centre but terrorism incidents has seen European countries such as US and United Kingdom issues travel bans whenever they feel their citizens are endangered.