Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business

Kenya

World Bank rates Kenya tourism poorly

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 24 – The World Bank has challenged tourism stakeholders to become more dynamic to boost the country\’s competitiveness as a holiday destination.

According to a World Bank report titled Kenya\’s Tourism: Polishing the Jewel, the country\’s tourism products were fast becoming dull and thus the country looses out to emerging destinations.

Presenting the report, World Bank country director Johannes Zutt said the country\’s main challenge was the shocks the tourism sector experienced in 2008 post-election violence and the global economic recession that have dented growth.

"We have seen the sector go through peaks and rapid declines and lacks the consistency to remain competitive," Mr Zutt said.

According to the report, Kenya has all the trimmings to be an all-year round tourism destination but has been greatly underutilised.

"Kenya has a unique range and has the potential to put together its products in a way its competitors cannot," he said. 

In 2010, the sector contributed Sh1.5 billion to the economy or four percent of GDP and offers direct employment to an estimated 220,000 people.

In 2008, Kenya\’s tourism industry took a heavy beating from the post-election violence following disputed presidential polls in late 2007 as well as the global financial meltdown.

Receiving the report, Tourism Minister Najib Balala said Kenya was an \’old fashion destination\’ that had not moved with the times.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

"There is nothing inspiring……..we are surviving by grace," the minister said citing the modern day tourist wanted more from his experience.

Citing beach tourism as an example (which is also cited by the World Bank), Mr Balala said the countries beach products "were tired and poorly managed."

He said, the sub-sector lacked serious investors willing to develop major hotels and improve the image of the coast.

"It is high time we give incentives to multinational chains who know how to run and manage hotels so that they can invest more," he said.

Mr Balala added there was a disconnect between the organs running tourism saying they were all reading from different scripts.

"The challenge with tourism is that it is not managed by one entity. You have NEMA, local authorities and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife all having an input," he said.

The report also highlights poor infrastructure development, lack of security in some areas and inadequate incentives for developers as reasons why the country was lagging behind.

The minister said he had scheduled a meeting with the Treasury and Kenya Investment Authority officials to discuss the formulation of an Incentive Code for the sector.

"We need investors to come up and open up new areas and develop new products for tourists," Mr Balala said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The tourism sector has been on the path to recovery, recording on average 17 percent monthly growth in tourism arrivals compared to 2007, by far Kenya\’s best performing year.

The sector is projected to attract 1.2 million in the 2010 with earnings estimated at Sh100 billion.

Follow the author at https://twitter.com/MjKaranja

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...