Tourism corporation, UN agency in drive for eco-friendly hotels

The Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) has entered a partnership with a United Nations agency to teach local hoteliers how to build and maintain eco-friendly facilities.

UN-Habitat and TFC will run workshops on how to build energy and resource efficient facilities in a bid to help the sector take advantage of a growing ecotourism niche business while helping mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Investors in the tourism sector must factor environmental and social considerations into every business decision. This enables them to prepare for future risks, act on opportunities and create more value for the business,” said TFC managing director Johah Orumoi in a statement.

They will also teach them on appropriate methods of water conservation and waste management. Hotels at the Coast have in the past been on the spot over allegations of dumping waste into the Indian Ocean. The tourism sector in Kenya is highly vulnerable to climate change relying as it does on the beach and safari products.

The sector also has the potential to play a role as protector of the environment with the growing popularity of ecotourism among eco-conscious travellers.

Diversify services

Kenya has been trying to grow its ecotourism potential to tap into the market as it seeks to revive flagging arrivals in the country.

Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) figures show that arrivals to the country grew 15.6 per cent in 2016. However, the market is yet to regain the peak figures recorded earlier in the decade.

Players in the sector have been urged to diversify their services beyond the traditional offerings. In addition, the Tourism ministry has allocated Sh10 million to a taskforce that is supposed to review Kenya’s tourism strategy.

The TFC was set up to provide cheap funding and advisory services to investors in Kenya’s tourism industry. With a kitty of more than Sh1 billion, the corporation has invested in over 200 projects in the 47 counties since inception.

Source: Business Daily