Published on : Saturday, July 4, 2020
Kenya recently announced that it has decided to reduce entry fees to major wildlife sanctuaries for both local and foreign tourists in order to revive the tourism sector that has been harshly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) announced that the reduced parks entry fees will last for a time period of one year. It also mentioned that KWS has given a one-year moratorium to lodge owners in its parks and reserves for rent payment starting July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary, Tourism and Wildlife officially announced about the reduction and mentioned that the move has been undertaken to ease financial burden on local and foreign visitors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also urged owners of lodges inside wildlife sanctuaries to leverage on savings from the rent moratorium in order to improvev isitors’ experience and grow their businesses. He also called upon the citizens of Kenyan to take advantage of the affordable park entry fees and relish the beauty of Kenya’s flora and fauna.
It was also announced another 50% discount would be given on filming fees for both local and international producers filming in parks and reserves. The authorities have also challenged filmmakers to market Kenya as an ideal tourist destination. Any local and foreign tourists who visit premium wildlife sanctuaries like Nairobi, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo East and West National Parks, will benefit from a 47% reduction on entry fees in line with the new changes.
Balala also urged investors in the KWS managed parks and reserves to refurbish their facilities and asked them to adhere to the Ministry of Health protocols to alleviate the risk of coronavirus spread. Similar to the rest of the world, Kenya’s tourism sector is also reeling from an unprecedented downturn as hotel bookings and visits to world-famous destinations like wildlife parks and beaches came to a standstill due to COVID-19. The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism informed towards the end of last month that the tourism sector has incurred losses amounting to 85 billion shillings (about 800 million U.S. dollars) due to the negative impacts of the pandemic.