Tourism stakeholders have warned that the sector could take longer to recover.
This is after Treasury failed to allocate adequate resources for marketing and infrastructure improvement.
Key players said the Sh1.2 billion allocated to the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) by Finance Minister Njeru Githae, during his Budget Statement, was a drop in the ocean and it would be difficult to compete with other destinations.
The sector faces a myriad problems ranging from terrorism threats, crippling infrastructure, boycott of Mombasa port by international cruise liners owing to piracy in the western rim of the Indian Ocean and travel advisories.
“The Government has not shown its commitment to help jump-start the industry which is a core pillar of Kenya’s largest import oriented economy,’’ said Mr Mohamed Hersi, Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association chairman.
He said KTB was allocated Sh1.2 billion for its marketing, Namibia allocates Sh450 million to market herself in the US market alone.
South Africa, Hersi added, allocates over Sh10 billion to market its diverse tourism products globally with a substantial chunk going to market the rainbow nation to the rest of Africa.
Hersi said introduction of incentives such as scrapping of visa fees for international tourists was not enough as long as the marketing component was underfunded.
“The prospects on international arrivals do not look good at all. Charter flights that bring in a bigger chunk of holidaymakers from key source market- Europe- have pulled out of the Mombasa route,’’ he said.
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort, General Manager, Mr Gomeri Kombo, says tourist stakeholders should push for a round table meeting with the Government over inadequate budgetary allocation to market Kenya as tourist destination of choice.
Data obtained from KTB on arrivals in the first quarter of the year from Mombasa’s Moi International Airport shows a decline in comparison to the corresponding period last year.
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