Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

Kenya to Remove Visa Requirement for All Visitors

3 months ago

Visitors to Kenya will no longer need a visa to enter the East African nation starting in January, President William Ruto announced on Tuesday.

Ruto said Kenyan officials had developed a digital platform to ensure all visitors would receive an electronic travel authorization prior to arrival, which would eliminate the need to apply for a visa.

“”It shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya,” he said at an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence from the United Kingdom.

Ruto has been a vocal advocate for visa-free travel. He announced in late October that Kenya would grant visa-free entry to all African nationals by the end of 2023, becoming the fourth country on the continent to do so.

Kenya’s move to provide all visitors visa-free travel entry comes after Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Alfred Mutua said in November at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit in Rwanda that the country was considering scrapping visa requirements for visitors outside of Africa.

Nairobi skyline
Nairobi should see more foreign visitors in the near future (PxHere: Daniel Arts Kandie)

Tourism

Movie Star Ed Norton Is Launching a Luxury Eco-Camp in Kenya With Former Six Senses President

1 year ago

Movie actor Ed Norton is working with the former president of Six Senses on developing a new eco-resort in Kenya.

“There’s going to be an announcement in the spring, about a new, global luxury brand,” he revealed on stage at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit, held in Saudi Arabia this week.

“A good friend of mine who ran Six Senses from its inception, up to when InterContinental Group bought it, and my friends at the Discovery Land Development Corporation, they have a big announcement in the spring. And we’re working with them to build state-of-the-art sustainable camps in Kenya, that will come over the next couple of years.”

According to reports, Bernhard Bohnenberger, former president of Six Senses and now CEO of Discover Collection, has worked with Norton on selecting three safari lodges and one beach resort.

Norton shared the news while speaking with Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, about which resorts were taking sustainability seriously.

He revealed that the camps in Kenya would fully electrified and features electric vehicles, while water would be sustainably sourced and only locals would be employed. Norton said he wanted the camps to act as a model for what can be done.

The “Fight Club” actor, who has spent many years as an environmental activist and social entrepreneur, also acts as ambassador to the Kenya Tourism Board.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated the Six Senses founder was involved. This updated version includes a report on Bohnenberger.

Tourism

Treat Local Communities With Respect, Demands Sustainability Consultant

2 years ago

Tourism businesses engaging with local communities need to treat their hosts respectfully.

That’s the message that Judy Kepher-Gona, a sustainability consultant and founder of Kenya-based Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda, conveyed during Skift Sustainable Tourism Summit on Wednesday.

Kepher-Gona told Skift Editor-at-Large Lebawit Lily Girma — in a discussion titled “Putting Communities at the Center of Tourism” — that good tourism businesses reached out to local communities during the heart of the pandemic, citing successful examples she saw in Kenya of companies negotiating business dues with communities.

“All this thinking and narrative that communities don’t understand tourism …. its vulnerability and … complexity was demystified,” Kepher-Gona said. “Because they sat around the table and said, ‘Yes, we understand what Covid has done for the industry.'”

But although Kepher-Gona believes host communities are willing to engage with tourism businesses, she still sees a lot of disrespect toward local citizens.

“Most of the time, they are excluded in the conversation because it is thought they don’t understand a lot of things,” Kepher-Gona said.