Kenya Tourism Fund CEO Joseph Cherutoi and the Corporate Services Director Eric Kiplagat have resigned.

According to an internal memo, the board of trustees met on July 1, to deliberate on the developments and appoint an acting CEO.

Cherutoi’s exit comes in the backdrop of a huge loss of witnesses in the tourism sector due to the impact of COVID-19.

Tourism CS Najib Balala stated on July 1 that Kenya had lost Ksh81.1 billion in revenue.

Speaking in Nairobi where he launched the Tourism and Travel Health and Safety Protocols, he noted that 3.1 million employees had been affected. 

As the country geared towards resuming domestic tourism, the exit of the two senior officials raised eyebrows on the Tourism Ministry’s preparedness to revamp the industry.

However, an internal memo sent to staff members indicated that normal operations would continue uninterrupted.

“This is a major change in our organisation and we request all staff to continue with their normal duties so that performance is not affected in any way.”

A statement communicating the new acting CEO was expected on July 2, 2020.

Kenya was among the top destinations in Africa to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travel Stamp, a good signal for the industry on the resumption of international travel.

“The Tourism and Travel Health and Safety Protocols we are launching today, are aligned with WHO and the UNWTO reopening guidelines. I urge all countries to have one global integrated Travel Health and Safety Protocol, to ease safe travels to all visitors,” Balala stated.

Kenya Utalii College, a project of the Tourism Fund closed following reduced business with President Uhuru Kenyatta vowing to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet.

The government allocated Ksh500 million to the tourism industry as part of its measure to accelerate recovery from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.