Recognizing the need to manage crisis in the tourism industry in the Eastern Africa Region, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Satellite Centre (GTRCMSC) was established in November 2019 at Kenyatta University, Kenya, following a bilateral agreement between H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica.
The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre has now appointed leading tourism management expert, Dr. Esther Munyiri, as Director for the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre East Africa office located at the Kenyatta University in Kenya.
Speaking on the appointment, Co-chair and founder of the GTRCMC, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said: “Dr. Munyiri brings decades of experience in Climate change vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation, Crisis management in tourism and Geospatial analysis. These attributes will greatly assist the Centre’s research and response in the region and help to build tourism resilience.”
As the newly-appointed Director, she will work closely with relevant divisions of the University of Kenyatta, the GTRCMC in Jamaica, and other satellite centers; the Ministries of Tourism in Kenya and the region; relevant Governmental and Non-Governmental agencies, and stakeholders in the tourism industry.
“This appointment is significant especially at a time when the world is grappling with the impact of a global pandemic. Dr. Munyiri’s expertise will assist with real time responses as she coordinates the necessary partnerships in that region,” added Professor Lloyd Waller, Executive Director of the GTRCMC. According to Professor Waller, the East Africa office will develop, implement, advocate, monitor, and build capacities related to tourism pandemic resilience, tourism livelihood resilience, tourism security resilience as well as tourism climate resilience initiatives in East Africa. The GTRCMC East Africa office will also work with the Caribbean office in the management of academic and trade journals. Both offices are currently finalizing the launch of the International Journal of Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management in March of 2021” as well as assist the Malta office with training and capacity building projects in Africa and the Mediterranean.
Dr. Munyiri has researched extensively on areas related to Crisis Management in Tourism. She successfully completed her PhD thesis on Vulnerability and Adaptation of the Tourism Sector to Climate Change in Kenya. She was also the lead researcher in a series of research projects commissioned by the National Tourism Crisis Management Steering Committee under the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Kenya, which is made up of stakeholders drawn from public and private sectors and academia.