NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 21 – The completion of Dongo Kundu by-pass, which connects Mombasa to South Coast and the expansion of Ukunda Airstrip are expected to open up Kwale County for business, Tourism stakeholders at the coast have said.
Diani Reef Hotel Managing Director Boby Kamani says the completion of the Dongo Kundu by-pass and the expansion of Ukunda Airstrip, whose works will be completed within the next two years, are significant in Kwale as an international tourism destination.
Currently, tourists have to pass through the chaotic Likoni ferry crossing channel or take the small local planes to access the destination.
Completion of the second and third phases of Dongo Kundu by-pass will see tourists avoiding the Likoni ferry and be able to reach the Moi International Airport on time.
“We have already started seeing more business just after the completion of first phase of Dongo Kundu,” Kimani said on the sidelines of the three-day symposium organized by the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers at Whitesands Hotel on Thursday.
The expansion of Ukunda Airstrip will allow much bigger and international flights to start operating in the region.
“Ukunda airstrip is something that we have been talking about for quite some time. We are now hoping the expansion of the airstrip will take about two years,” said Kamani.
The development is part of the government’s initiative of value addition of the coastal region as a tourism destination.
The region is well up on its recovery journey following difficult years of dealing with terrorism that scared tourists away from the destination.
In February, the Ministry of tourism revealed that Kenya earned US$1.2 billion (Sh120.9 billion) in 2017, a 20 per cent growth from US$989 million (Sh99.6 billion) the previous year despite a prolonged and tense electioneering period.