Tourism, transport and logistics, and retail sectors in East Africa were the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, a report by the East African Business Council (EABC) shows.
According to the EABC report, the sectors’ cash flow nosed dived at 92 percent, 75 percent and 63 percent respectively because of shocks to the sector.
“It is estimated that EAC Partner States will potentially lose international tourism receipts in the tune of $US5.4 billion for the year 2020, given the projected long-term closure of seaports and airports,” said EABC Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Mathuki.
He said that about 6.2 million foreign tourists may not travel to their preferred EAC destinations.
“The trickle-down effects will be felt across affiliated industries and the rest of the economy.
According to AITA, the EABC report says, the pandemic is expected to create shortages of 2.5 million passengers resulting in a US$0.54 billion revenue loss, risking 137,965 jobs and US$1.1 billion in contribution to Kenya’s economy.
In 2019, the World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the tourism and travel sectors contributed 8.5 percent of Kenyan jobs and 8.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
To mitigate against the Covid-19 effects, EABC recommends continued support for the most vulnerable economic segments, including Small and Medium Enterprises, self-employed individuals, women and youth.
“This is because tourism is a major job creator, especially for more vulnerable groups-women and youth,” said the EABC report.
Dr. Mathuki also called for strengthened partnerships between the public and private sectors for business rebound and measures to stimulate economic growth.
“This is vital for business continuity, safeguarding jobs, exports, and facilitating free movement of goods and services across the region,” the EABC boss said.