He said players in the tourism sector should pool resources in ensuring that Kenya attracts more tourists.
“You first have to put all the resources for marketing the country as a tourist destination in one basket and if you still have a short fall, the Government can step in,” he said.
The President was speaking on Saturday at State House, Nairobi, during a meeting with the Tourism Advisory Board formed by Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie to help in the recovery of the tourism sector.
Members of the advisory board who attended the meeting were Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa, Kenya Tourism Federation Chairperson Lucy Karume and Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Chairman Jaideep Vora.
Others were Kenya Association of Tour Operators Chairman Adam Jillo, South Coast Tourism Stakeholders Representative Chris Modigell and his Watamu counterpart Philemon Mwavala, Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer Dr Julius Kipng’etich while Advocates Cecil Miller and Donald Kipkorir represented non-tourism stakeholders.
President Kenyatta told the advisory board to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan that will propel the country’s tourism back to the apex of tourist destinations in the region.
He emphasized the need for paying taxes but assured the tourism sector that any element of double taxation will be addressed.
“We are committed to ensuring that the tourism sector plays its role effectively in growing our economy in line with the Jubilee Manifesto and our Vision 2030,” the President said.
The members of the Tourism Advisory Board expressed the need for the Government to open up the skies so that other airlines could land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa and the President directed Transport Cabinet Eng Michael Kamau to address the issue.
The meeting agreed that the advisory board should come up with a grand plan within two weeks that would help jumpstart the tourism sector.