The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC – EA) was established in November 2019 at Kenyatta University in response to the need to manage the crisis in the tourism industry in Eastern Africa. This center was established as a result of a bilateral agreement between H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jamaican counterpart, Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Right: H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica
during President Kenyatta visit to Jamaica when the two countries agreed to start the GTRCM
satellite Centre in Kenya

Following the UNWTO conference on sustainable growth in November 2017, the Montego Bay Declaration was adopted, which included the creation of the Centre. The Centre was inaugurated at the University of the West Indies’ Montego Bay Convention Centre in Jamaica (UWI). Other satellite facilities, in addition to the one at Kenyatta University, are located in Nepal, Hong Kong, Malta, Oman, and Japan. Dr. Taleb Rufai, former UNWTO Secretary-General and Chair of the GTRCMC’s Board of Governors leads the GTRCMC’s leadership. The GTRCMC in Jamaica is Co-Chaired by Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica.

The GTRCMC-EA in Kenya is Africa’s first tourist resource center, serving Kenya, Burundi, Comoros, DRC, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the region is a popular tourism destination.

The tourism sector’s potential in the region can be linked to the region’s natural resource endowment, which has contributed greatly to the region’s economic growth and development. Kenya was chosen because of its importance as a well-known tourist destination and as a connecting hub for its Eastern African neighbors.


To become a transformative Centre, which seeks to safeguard and protect tourism destinations of the countries in the Eastern Africa regions as well as to ensure health, growth, and sustainability of the tourism industry.


To support the countries in Eastern Africa with destination preparedness, management, and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that negatively impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.


1.   Research and development in areas anchored on resilience in tourism.

2.   Training and capacity building.

3.   Policy formulation and advocacy.

4.   Communication and dissemination of information.

5.   Project design and management.

6.   Monitoring and evaluation.

The Centre works in collaboration with the National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee. The National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee was gazette in March 2020, by the Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Najib Balala, EGH.

From right: VC, KU Prof Paul Wainaina; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism in
Jamaica; CS, Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala, and former PS Tourism and Wildlife,
Mr. Joe Okudo at the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

In the Gazette notice, the GTRCMC-EA in Kenya was tasked with researching, capacity building, and creating and communicating toolkits and policies on tourism resilience and crisis management on behalf of the Committee.

The Committee’s membership spans the governmental, private, and academic sectors, and includes a diverse group of tourism stakeholders who are well-versed in the industry’s operations and how well crises in the sector may be addressed. The Center’s and Committee’s foundation could not have come at a better time, as Kenya’s tourism industry, despite its amazing expansion, has been severely harmed by COVID-19.

The committee’s mandate includes the following: –

  1. Crisis management, coordination, response and steering in the
    tourism industry.
  2. Documenting each tourism crisis and its response and conducting
    post-crisis reviews and making recommendations thereto.
  3. Managing tourism crisis communication framework and
  4. Proposing and recommending national tourism risk and crisis
    management strategies, frameworks, manuals and protocols.
  5. Creating networks of stakeholders to ensure effective crisis
  6. To oversight operations of the National Tourism Crisis Operational

The leadership of the Global Tourism and Crisis Management Centre-Eastern Africa in Kenya comprises of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya President) who is the Patron/Regional Co-Chairperson of GTRCMC-EA. Hon. Balala Cabinet Secretary Tourism and Wildlife, is the Chairperson, Board of Governors; Prof Paul Wainaina, Vice Chancellor, Kenyatta University, is the Co- Chairperson, Board of Governors. Dr Esther Munyiri, Kenyatta University, is the Director, GTRCMC-EA.

Members of KU Management, other KU staff, PS Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and the Minister of Tourism Jamaica during the visit by the Minister in December 2019

The Centre thematic focuses among others include:

  1. Tourism Climatic and Seismic Resilience (Drought, Floods, Landslides, Sea level rise)
  2. Tourism Pandemic /Epidemic Resilience (Cholera, Ebola, Rift Valley fever, Coronavirus)
  3. Tourism Security /Cyber Security Resilience (terrorism, Poaching, Cyber attacks etc)
  4. Tourism Entrepreneurial Resilience (Training, Mentoring etc)
  5. Economic Disruptions (Elections, Technologies etc)
  6. Emerging challenges facing tourism industry.

The roles of the Centre are:

  1. Creating, producing and generating toolkits.
  2. Develop guidelines and policies to handle the recovery process following a disaster.
  3. Assist with preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.
  4. To collate data generated from different organizations related to tourism industry.
  5. To network on knowledge generation and sharing with other relevant regional and international bodies.


Public sectorPrivate sector
1. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife [MOTW]
2. Related state corporations
1. Kenya Tourism Federation [KTF]
2. Related tourism trade associations in Kenya
Other Ministries in the countries in the region:
1. Ministries related to tourism 
2. Ministries related to foreign affairs and trade Ministries related to the environment
3. Ministries related to interior and national government
4. Ministries related to transport and communication
5. The Meteorological Departments
6. Communication Authorities 
Other associations   in the countries in the region: 
1. Uganda Tourism Association [UTA]
2. Tourism Confederation of Tanzania [TCT]
3. Rwanda Tour and Travel Association (RTTA)
4. Ethiopian Tourism Organization [ETO]
5. Somali Tourism Association [SOMTA]
6. Sudan Organization for Tourist and Guidance [SOTG]
Local /regional universities/Colleges
1. Kenya Utalii College [KUC]
2. Makerere University
3. [MU]University of Dar es Salaam [UDS]
4. University of Rwanda [UOR]Addis Ababa University [AAU]
5. Universities in all other Eastern Africa Countries.  
International /Regional Organizations
1. United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO]
2. World Travel and Tourism Council [WTTC]
3. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO]
4. United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]
5. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa [UNECA]
6. World Wildlife Fund [WWF]
7. International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN]
8. African Wildlife Foundation [AWF]
9. African Union [AU]
10. East African Community
11. [EAC]Inter-Governmental Authority on Development [IGAD]
12. Global Environmental Fund [GEF]