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Published on : Friday, June 5, 2015
In the wake of reduced tourist inflows owing to adverse travel advisories, the government has been engaging in an aggressive tourism recovery strategy. Tourism is expected to be among priority areas in the 2015/2016 budgetary allocation by the Kenyan government.
The recovery strategy includes global advertisements, company sponsored holidays and the promotion of domestic tourism.
For the second year running, the tourism sector last year experienced a slump associated with adverse travel advisories and fears of Ebola spread from West Africa. Tourist arrivals reduced to 1.3 million arrivals last year, down from 1.9 in 2013.
The number of international visitors to national parks and game reserves declined by 7.4 percent while the average length of stay reduced from 13.2 days in 2012/2013 to 12.3 days.
To help revive the tourism sector, the government has embarked on an aggressive recovery strategy by promoting domestic tourism. A year ago, the government launched company paid holidays and promoting county to county tourism.
Negative publicity has dealt a significant blow to the country’s tourism sector as an a secure and ideal tourist destination especially after the ill fated Garissa University terror attack that left 148 persons dead. The government is seeking to correct this by placing adverts on global media platforms like CNN. This started this month.
The next budget is therefore expected to augment this by stepping up allocation on marketing the country. Reports indicate that the government is likely to allocate 7 billion shillings for tourism to market the country and help increase tourist arrivals.
In addition, stakeholders are however optimistic about the future and are leveraging on President Barrack Obamas’ visit to the country next month to endorse the country as safe and an ideal tourist destination.
This will be as the onset of the wildebeest migration, which marks the beginning of the tourism high season beckons.
The 2015/2016 Budget Policy Statement seeks to align investments in education, health and energy towards promoting tourism, establishment of large free trade area around Nairobi and along the borders, facilitate increased investments in accommodation facilities in Nairobi and Western Kenya, re-organize and develop niche beech tourism at the Coast among others.