The network will bring together county associations and businesses to ensure effective lobbying for the sector under the new devolved system of government.
KTF Chief Executive Officer Agatha Juma said during the launch on Thursday; “the county government system and Tourism Act will require stakeholders to take a more active role in lobbying for policies and interventions that result in a sustainable tourism sector.”
The network will divide the counties into six regions where counties support each other and those that share attractions both benefit from it.
“The network will run through six regions namely, Nyanza and Western, Central and North Rift, South and Lower Rift, Aberdares and Mt Kenya, Laikipia and; Northern Tourism Circuit and Coast,” she said.
Juma asked county governors to shelve plans of introducing the “pass through “levy saying, “The proposed tourist pass through levy is unrealistic.
“There is no way that tourists will be able to pay for entry into a county yet it is on the way to their ultimate destination.
“The levy will drive away tourists and greatly discourage domestic tourism within the different counties,” she added.
Daniel Okumu Chairman of the Lake Victoria Association applauded the federation’s efforts adding, “We have many tourist attractions in the region that are waiting to be tapped into.”
“Recently we discovered a rock “Abindu” where women and men in the old days used to go in search of life partners. This is something of interest as the rock is in a forest and it is over 100 years. We have our Lake Victoria which unfortunately has been polluted by hyacinth.”
“The government needs to address this issue as the hyacinth has made the fish and other sea animals migrate and the fishermen can no longer fish,” he explained.
Earlier this year Managing Director Kenya Tourism Board Murithi Ndegwa said they would explore County tourism as a source of revenue in the devolved governments.