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Women urged to venture into tourism business

[KAWT Chairperson, Jane Adam (3rd from left) and other members receives a dummy cheque from Kenya National Convention Bureau CEO, Jacinta Nzioka (3rd from right) to support association’s activities. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) marked its 10th anniversary celebrations in Mombasa with calls for more women empowerment in the tourism sector.

Veteran hospitality expert and investor, Mrs Jane Adams, was re-elected back to the post of national Chairperson during the event which also served as the association’s annual general meeting held at Voyager Beach Resort & Spa.

More than 60% of the workforce in the tourism industry in Kenya is made up of women but they remain under-represented in key leadership positions.

KAWT said the situation is similar across the globe where most female employees in the sector are in junior positions.

In other leadership slots, Ms Maureen Obunga, Malindi based Ocean Beach Resort General manager was named the National Vice chairperson while Nyandia Nyamu was confirmed as the KAWT Chief Executive Officer and Secretary respectively.

Mombasa KWAT chapter Chairperson, Ms Janet Chamia, retained her seat as the KAWT Mombasa county chair.

”We have all suffered due to this pandemic. I wish to thank KWAT members who in their respective roles ensured that they offered whatever little support to the needy during the pandemic times,” Said Adams.

She added that they conducted a survey last year as the pandemic raged and identified partners with whom they could work together to offer a boost to women in tourism.

She at the same time expressed confidence at the surge in number of new entrants in terms of membership into the association despite pandemic times.

”We are currently in 16 out of the 47 counties. However, going by inquiries we are receiving, we hope to be in all the counties soon,” she said.

Adams while applauding the role of women in the tourism industry added that they are happy with efforts by the government to recognise women in its membership ranks who have been tapped owing to the expertise to serve in various positions in the government.

She singled out Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) Chief Executive Officer, Jacinta Nzioka and Lake Bogoria Resort & Spa who was appointed to a director at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Nzioka said that the Meetings Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) remains a highly resilient sector of the larger tourism and hospitality industry.

”Out of the total number of visitors who come into our country, a record 35% come for business, tourism meetings and events including business corporate meetings,” she said.

KAWT serves as a professional platform for women empowerment and helps unite and mobilise women in the tourism and hospitality sector to take active roles in promotion of tourism in Kenya and come up with programmes that promote and enhance social harmony.