Sh200mn released for tourism recovery plan

September 1, 2014
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Tourists receive flowers on their arrival at the Mombasa International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya in  2012/XINHUA-File
Tourists receive flowers on their arrival at the Mombasa International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya in 2012/XINHUA-File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – The government has released the Sh200 million for tourism recovery.

Tourism Recovery Taskforce Chairperson Lucy Karume says the money is already with the Tourism Ministry and will begin to be used on a short, medium and long term strategy.

“The money is not enough, but it will sure do well for the start especially on the short term recovery plan. It is evident that coastal tourism suffered a marked decline in the first five months of the year and reports from coastal hoteliers indicate that this slump has continues into the months of June to August,” she said.

Karume said among the short term strategies include implementation of the tax measures to enable corporate and business entities to take their staff on holiday and get tax rebates, as well as engaging foreign missions that have issued travel advisories to cancel the bans.

“We also urge all tourists, celebrities and corporate bodies, public and the private sector and friends of the tourism sector to go online and tell the world about the uniqueness of the country and how tourism business activities are ongoing despite the travel advisories,” she said.

She also says the private sector has used Sh14.7 million in local and international media familiarisation trips that will be critical in showcasing Kenya as a safe destination.

The taskforce will unveil the medium and long term recovery strategy at the three month life of the taskforce, with some of the areas under review among them security and infrastructure improvement that will include creation of a tourism rapid response unit as well as retraining the Tourism Police Unit.

Others are rebranding Kenya as a destination for travel, tourism and investment and digitisation of Kenya’s tourism industry.

Despite a downturn in the coastal region, Malindi has shown some resilience owing to the Italian market that has stood with the country.

“Malindi is not doing as badly as other parts of the coastal region. This is due to Italian market that has not issued any travel advisory, we have also seen a growing domestic tourism we are still lacking the International Market we need to bring them back,” said Malindi Tourism Stakeholders Representative Robert Marini.

Also doing well is the Meetings Incentives Conferencing Exhibitions (MICE) that is registering growth even with the ongoing tourism crisis.

Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) managing Director Fred Simiyu says international exhibitors that include IPACK-IMA are setting foot in Kenya with its first exhibition this month as well as a global events company Montgomery from the United Kingdom planning three exhibitions.

“On the meetings front we have managed to close international conferences that include the world Public Relations conference in 2015 among others,” he stated.

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