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[April 11, 2014]
PS starts drive to revive tourism [Nation (Kenya)]
(Nation (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The government will step up security at the Coast and promote the country in new markets to revive the ailing tourism sector.
Tourism Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohammed Friday admitted that terror attacks had led to a drop in the number of visitors coming to the country.
Speaking at a forum organised by the Devolution Ministry at Castle Royal hotel in Mombasa, Dr Mohammed said they have partnered with western diplomats who pledged their support in the fight against terrorism.
The ministry has also crafted new marketing strategies. He said the ministry will increase its budgetary allocation to agencies that market the country."Plans are at an advanced stage to merge all parastatals that market the country into one agency," said Dr Mohammed.
Some of the agencies to be merged are the Export Promotion Council (EPC), Kenya Investment Corporation(KIC), Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), Brand Kenya.
The PS said the move will help save some of the cash that is spent running the parastatals, which maybe used to promote tourism.
"We will market the country in new destinations such as the Middle East, Asia and Africa and as well as increase charter flights," Dr Mohammed added Mombasa County Secretary Hamisi Mwaguya urged the public to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious characters. He accused such suspects of undermining development in the county. "Let us help the government by giving police information on terrorists, their activities and plans when we get such information.
The Likoni church attack has led to a decline in the number of tourists coming into this county. When tourism is affected, thousands of people may lose their jobs," Mr Mwaguya said. Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) analyst Benson Kiriga urged county leaders to support development of cultural centres and hotels.
According to the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers, bookings for the Easter holidays had declined to 50 to 70 per cent compared to last year when it was almost 100 percent.
Meanwhile, despite the slump in tourism, an investor has launched a Sh20 million hotel and members club in Nairobi. The X/S club was launched yesterday in a ceremony attended by tour firms, Tourism officials and Nairobi county officers. It targets tourists, business travellers and diplomats.
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