Kenya’s tourism ministry has partnered with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and travel agency Amadeus to foster job creation.
The ministry and two organizations have signed an agreement to provide youth and women of underprivileged communities with access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in travel and tourism.
Najib Balala, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism said in a statement issued in Nairobi Wednesday that tourism is a key backbone to the region’s economic development, with a projected growth of 16 percent by the end of 2016.
“This initiative enables us to empower women and our youth whilst building our local tourism and travel industry,” Balala said.
The pilot program, to be launched in Kenya before the end of 2017, will include training for local communities through Amadeus customers. The initiative is expected to be replicated in countries around the world.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said with 1,186 million international tourist arrivals in 2015, tourism is not only a catalyst for development but also for inclusion.
“Though in most regions women make up the majority of the tourism workforce, they tend to be concentrated in the lowest paid and lowest status jobs, and perform a large amount of unpaid work in family tourism businesses. We thus need to work together to ensure women can access better jobs in tourism,” Rifai said.
Svend Olav Leirvaag, Vice President Industry Affairs of Amadeus IT Group said technology can help enhance skill levels, professionalism, and also the commitment of the workforce.
“At Amadeus, we are equipping local communities with new technologies in line with our commitment to sustainable development. However, to really make a difference, this has to be an industry-wide effort,” Leirvaag added. Enditem
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