NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – Kenya has realized Sh3.7 billion in revenue value from the Charter Incentive Programme.
Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, said the Charter Incentive Programme raked in nearly 18 times in revenue to Kenya’s tourism sector, with the government having spent Sh200 million in the programme since 2016.
Balala made the announcement soon after receiving a charter flight by TUI from The Netherlands that brought in 120 visitors at Moi International Airport.
The charter flight will be flying to Mombasa twice a week, translating to about 360 visitors to the Kenyan coast every week.
“Moi International Airport is now receiving 15 charter flights per week up from 9 last year. Since 2016 to March this year, there have been 55,000 arrivals into Mombasa and the beach hotels.”, added CS Balala.
The arrival of the charter flight from The Netherlands comes barely two weeks after the launch of TUI Belgium charter flights into Mombasa last weekend.
The Netherlands is the fourth largest source market from Europe with 22,108 visitors last year, a 34 percent growth since 2016 which recorded 16,489 arrivals.
‘This is indeed a major boost to the coastal tourism business and contributes to the success of government charter incentives program that has been in place for the last two and half years,” says the CS.
European markets which include the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy contribute the highest arrival numbers into Kenya and especially the Kenyan coast for the beach product.
The incentive, which has been extended to 2020, applies to tourist charter aircraft with passengers terminating at Moi International Airport Mombasa and Malindi Airport.
Part of the package includes no landing fees for a period of two and a half years and a passenger subsidy of $30 per seat.
Chartered flights are required to ensure that at least 80 percent of the passengers are terminating their trip in Kenya and also commit to operate the Kenya route for a minimum of at least two consecutive years.