NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 -The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) is hoping to be allocated Sh1.4 billion in the next Budget of the 2011/2012 financial year.
KTB Managing Director Mureithi Ndegwa said the increase from the current year’s Sh800 million allocation would allow the board to conduct more intensive marketing campaigns for Kenya to international tourists.
“When you look at the performance for last year (2010), we achieved close to 1.1 million tourists in terms of arrivals. This compares against the previous year when we reached 952,000 in 2009. In terms of revenue, we achieved Sh73.7 billion against Sh500 million the previous year (2009). Basically 2010 in terms of arrivals and revenues- it was the best performing year,” Mr Ndegwa said.
Mr Ndegwa added that the tourism sector was facing major challenges such as the perceived security lapses which would delay and may hamper tourists from visiting the country.
“There are some factors that maybe acting as dis-enablers; these are things to do with the infrastructure. Were looking at the road network and the airport. All these have a contributing effect on the total performance on tourism. There are other things like security, either perceived or real. And there are others such as flights coming into the country, because, travel and tourism go hand in hand,” he stated.
He added that the country did exemplary well in global tourist standings when it achieved an increase of over 15 percent last year.
He stated that KTB was aggressively targeting and promoting culture tourism as it is still an un-tapped market. Mr Ndegwa revealed that the board was going to market golf tourism with greater vigour as the country boasts 11 top class golf ranges.
Mr Ndegwa added that the government through the ministry of Roads has made the Maasai Maara road a priority for development as it receives a lot of visitors. He also said the Emali to Loitoktok road and the Shaba reserve dome will be done to allow for a smooth ride to the specific areas.
Tourism is Kenya\’s largest foreign exchange earning sector.
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