From   : Public Communications Office

Date   : 29.10.2015

By Sammy Kwichichi Wekesa

PSKonchellah2The government has begun implementing some of the proposal by the Tourism Recovery Task Force aimed at putting the sector on track.

East African Affairs Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phylis Kandie said that the performance of the sector has recorded an all-time low as a result of myriad of challenges, key among them being insecurity.

She made the remarks in her address to the 2015 Marketing Development Representatives (MDR) and the tourism stakeholders’ forum in a Nairobi Hotel.

“Besides insecurity, other challenges such as travel advisories, tourism pricing, quality of product and services, lack of enforcement standards, poor infrastructure leading to over reliance on few tourism products have made the sector vulnerable” she observed.

To mitigate these challenges, she said, her ministry with relevant stakeholders is implementing some of the recommendations of The Tourism Recovery Task Force.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Principal Secretary in the State Department of East African Affairs, Mr. John O. Konchellah, the Cabinet Secretary said the government has enhanced funding to the security docket during the current financial year, aimed at improving security; a key aspect in maintaining a thriving economy which tourism is a key contributor.

“As a result of negative publicity by the media, our destination image has been perceived negatively. This has dealt a blow to propensity of visitors to travel to Kenya’’, she stressed.

CSmeeting2Photo2: Heritage Group of Hotels CEO Mohammed Hersi making his remarks during a Mombasa forum recently

She announced that the Ministry has contracted an international PR Agency; Graylings to implement activities aimed at revamping Kenya’s image abroad including the launch of Make it Kenya campaign.

As part of other marketing programmes, CNN global media advertising campaign will be rolled out following understanding on salient issues that had held the execution of the campaigns. The campaigns, she added, will target key source markets such as Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world.

On emerging markets, Mrs. Kandie said besides the traditional markets that have continued to contribute more in terms of arrivals, emerging markets are our next frontier. Markets such as China, India and UAE have shown all indications for growth and resilience and we are ready to invest in them.

The government will further put in place strategies to grow the domestic market to cushion the sector during low seasons by among others investing on the East Africa region market.

The following are some excerpts from the Cabinet Secretary’s speech;

  • Improving infrastructure to increase access to major tourism hubs

Photo: KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa, C.S. Phyllis Kandie and KTB Board members; Mr Richard Kimenyi and  Mr Adam Jillo in discussion during the official CSmeeting3opening of Mombasa tourism  stakeholders forum

Through the inter-government agency efforts, face-lift and expansion of JKIA to handle more passengers is ongoing. Air strips to various tourism destination as well as roads continue to receive considerable improvements.

Other measures taken include promotion of East African Tourist visa to ease travel across Borders, Investment in infrastructure, such as Roads, Airports and Railways.

  • Tourism product Diversification

Besides beach and wildlife products, Kenya has a rich array of tourism products. Niche products such as sports, culture and heritage identified under the vision 2030 are being marketed.

  • Promotion of Tourism Investments

To attract and sustain the required tourist numbers, the Ministry has initiated modalities of promotion of investments in the sector with a view of attracting tourism investments portfolios.

  • Increased funding

The government has enhanced funding to the Tourism sector to the tune of Shs 5.2 billion. This will see the sector engage in key strategies towards recovery.