Search This Blog

Friday, March 6, 2015

I seat at my desk and wonder what my very first blog would be like. Having been in the Tourism Industry for 3 years now, I can comfortably write something concerning this very involving industry. Since the terror attack at Westgate on 21st September 2013, I shudder at the memories; the industry has suffered a great deal in terms of the number of tourists visiting our country and by extension a big blow in our economy. The Ebola epidemic also scared away quite a large number of clients making them opt to visit Europe and Asian countries. As a Tour Consultant….well, who am I kidding, in the making, I take it to myself to address such atrocities instead of dismissing it by saying what any normal Kenyan may say…’serikali inahitaji kufanya kitu’ loosely translated to the government needs to do something.

Now a few days ago, I was in my mother’s office and she was giving me a piece of advice as I was about to start my in-training. In the lengthy motherly advice she shared with me, there’s one remarkable thing she told me. She said that in our industry, the tourism industry of course; a challenge that is affecting this industry is not the terrorism, poaching or political instability. No. The biggest challenge affecting Tourism is our response to those challenges. Yes, I know the terror attack is a big challenge to not only the industry but also to the country and its inhabitants and to the world as a whole. But what do you do after hearing on the news that the oldest elephant which was a dear friend not only to the herd of its kind but also to the rangers ‘personally’ has been mercilessly annihilated? What do you do when you see tourists being hijacked and kidnapped while on a holiday trip at Mombasa? Many of us may lament about the negligence of rangers in the park or maybe poor security measures at the lodges; but after that move on with life like nothing ever happened. What if we sat down after a tragedy hits and find a strategy of handling it and carry it out to see if it works? What if we decided to even form a group of surbordinates where we can meet and do brainstorming after an incident has taken place and draw out a work plan of handling it then undertake it and look back and see how effective it was or it wasn’t? What if we decided to act on those poachers only and let the rangers continue with their work? If you ask me, I think it would make a whole lot of difference. I think if we all take the initiative of handling matters in our hands and acting all patriotic by protecting what is ours, as a country we could not do so bad. 5, 10 years down the line, we could lament on how few hotels we have because of the large numbers of tourists visiting our country and forget we ever had bigger tragedies as poaching ever again.