Balala calls for an end to beach boys’ harassment

Tourism CS Najib Balala (PHOTO: FILE)

DIANI, KENYA: Harassment of beach holidaymakers has been cited as one of the challenges affecting the Beach destination and County governments urged to ensure that they tackle the menace once and for all.

Speaking via video conferencing on Thursday to delegates attending the Coast Tourism Stakeholders Summit at the Neptune Beach Hotel Conference Centre, Diani, South Coast, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary , Mr Najib Balala said that harassment of visitors by beach operators must be put to an end.

''It is still a big concern that denies visitors real life experience on our pristine white sandy beaches. County governments that border Indian Ocean waters must act now,'' the CS said.

He reiterated the need to ensure closer integration of the community living around tourist hot spots so as to allow them realise benefits accruing from the industry.

He said that the summit whose theme is Inspiring Transformation of the Beach Destination is an opportunity to leverage on the transformative agenda by scaling up and broadening the stakeholder engagement in transforming the Kenyan Coast destination.

Balala said that the summit further aims at moving Kenya Swahili Coast forward by enhancing the country's competitive position in the global tourism market through a strong destination brand and delivery of authentic and exceptional Kenya travel experience.

He went on to state that the overall beach arrivals have been on the decline by over 50 per cent noting that sometimes back Moi International Airport used to receive upto 40 charters a week from key source markets in Europe.

''That has gone down considerably. Save for the intervention when the Government introduced the charter incentive programme, we now handle upto 15 charters,'' the CS said.