NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5- Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala has called on tourism and travel players to operate as one entity to continue boosting the performance of the sector.
Speaking during opening ceremony at the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) offices Balala said Travel and Tourism sector should unite in order to have a greater impact in the industry.
“Our national tourism strategy blueprint is to see as the government, a unity of purpose for the industry. All you guys in the industry should be united and stand together so that the government can hear you,” he said.
He urged the industry players including KATA and Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) to combine forces and engage the government to make the industry more robust.
He further emphasized on the need to have licensing system that will help streamline travel agents and tour operators in the industry. This, he said, is a system that is operational in many countries across the world.
“My wish is to have a licensing system whereby one cannot belong to the trade without being a member of an association,” Balala stated.
He lauded KATA for the bold move to invest in an office space terming them as a formidable association in the travel industry. “We are very proud of your achievement to own your own home,” he said.
Also speaking during the event, KATA Board Chairman Mohammed Wanyoike narrated the over 10 years journey that the association took to own new premises highlighting the highs and lows of the journey.
“We are proud and happy to have honored the KATA founders who always hoped we would one day own our office. Arriving at a decision was not easy as there were many varying opinions regarding the best way to acquire an office for KATA,” Wanyoike said.
KATA represents the interests of Travel Agents in Kenya and it is Kenya’s largest membership organisation for Travel Agents.