, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie’s long called-for appointments to various tourism related boards were finally gazetted on Friday.
She’s made appointments to the Kenya Tourism Board, the boards of the Tourism Regulatory Authority, the Tourism Research Institute, the Tourism Finance Corporation and the Utalii College Council.
New board members were also appointed to the Bomas of Kenya, the Kenyatta International Convention Centre and Brand Kenya.
Tourism Fund Trustees and appointees to the Tourism Tribunal was also named in the Kenya Gazette dated October 2.
A number of notable personalities were appointed to the boards including media personality Julie Gichuru, athletics world record holder Paul Tergat and Kenya Airways Marketing Director Christopher Diaz to the Brand Kenya board.
Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers CEO Mike Macharia has been appointed to the Tourism Regulatory Board whose creation tourism stakeholders have demanded for the setting of standards in the hotel business.
“We actually meet the US requirements for a five star resort including flame retardant mattresses. But a lot of the facilities along the coast claim to be five star while they’re not or they were and are now run down and they end up giving the rest of us a bad reputation,” Ocean Beach Resort and Spa Managing Director Roberto Marini complained to Capital FM News in March of 2014.
Other notable names on the list of appointees is the Former Chairman of the Media Owners Association Hanningtone Gaya who’s been appointed to the Tourism Finance Corporation board having previously chaired the Brand Kenya board.
The Managing Director of Carlson Wagonlit Travel Kenya Julie Scott has been named as one of the Tourism Fund Trustees.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s spokesperson Manoah Esipisu in March announced that a number of appointments to parastatal boards would be made following the adoption of new guidelines labeled Mwongozo.
The newly adopted criteria for parastatal board appointments require that they be composed of between seven and nine members and at least one member be an expert in financial management.
The guidelines also require that at least a third of the board members be “independent” meaning they neither work for the national nor county governments and are not suppliers of the state corporation to which they’ve been appointed.
The board members are to serve for terms no longer than six years should they be re-appointed and three should they not.
It’s hoped that the expertise the appointments bring to the tourism boards will help revitalise a sector that has experienced a slump in recent years due to insecurity.