, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – The tourism sector has welcomed the move by the Treasury who allocated Sh5.2 billion for the industry’s recovery.
Speaking to Capital FM Business, Kenya Tourism Federation Chief Executive Agatha Juma says the sum is the biggest allocation the sector has ever received, and urged the Tourism Ministry to immediately embark on reassuring the markets especially in Kenya’s key sources.
Juma says the money should be used adequately and only for tourism recovery and asked the ministry to increase other tourism products instead of relying on the usual safari offering.
“We need to clarify issues regarding Ebola threats and security measures and what the government has put in place to secure its citizens and visitors alike and we hope to see positive results,” she said.
Kenya Hotel Keepers Association CEO Mike Macharia says more other areas the money could be used include beefing up of the tourism police unit as well as seeking partnerships with airline charters.
Macharia says the tourism sector is still doing poorly especially at the coast where he says the sector is worst hit.
“Insecurity and perceived Ebola threats have negatively impacted the Kenyan destination leading to low tourism activities especially at the coastal region,” he said.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said Kenya is looking forward to grow tourist arrival numbers by the end of 2015, owing to the numerous international events taking place in the country.
Ndegwa says the events provide the country with an opportunity to market its attractions and boost its image as the best holiday destination.
KTB has already set aside Sh140 million for a global advertising campaign and another Sh15 million towards charter airline promotions and volume tour operators so as to improve on traffic to the destination.
Ndegwa told Capital FM Business the events and conferences are key for the board to expand its marketing strategy for Kenya.
“I would not have the exact numbers of what we expect this year, but I think we can cautiously say that all things being equal, we are looking at things being better than last year,” Ndegwa said. “If we maintain security that is very paramount for business to thrive in this country, I am sure things will be better.”
Some of the mega events Kenya is expected to host this year include the 40th Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress which will take place in November.