New dawn as CS Balala announces plans to form Regional Tourism Councils

Tourism CS Najib Balala held a consultation meeting with tourism stakeholders on transforming African Safari product. [File, Standard]

It is new dawn for Kenyan tourism following revelations by Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Mr Najib Balala that effective January 2019, there will be Tourism Councils for the various geographical regions in the republic.

Balala said that following a meeting with the Council of Governors (CoG), they have mooted the idea to ensure faster development of tourism at the devolved unit levels.

For example, Balala stated that the Kenya Coast Tourism Council will be inaugurated in Diani, South Coast in Kwale County in January, 2019.

It will be followed later by the establishment of Rift Valley, Lake and Western Kenya, Eastern, North Eastern, Nairobi and Central Regions respectively.

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''It is no secret that Kenyan tourism has had it fair share of problems but have managed to remain resilient and now we are on track to full recovery,'' he said.

Balala said that while President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration has worked hard to restore confidence to visitors by putting up all the necessary mechanisms like restoring security and massive infrastructure upgrade, it is now upto devolved units to help market the Kenyan destination aggressively.

The CS said that Kenyan tourism was now on a full upward trajectory with growth this year expected increase by 20 per cent this year.

Experts in the tourism industry said that the Tourism councils will be expected to become more efficient and diverse its various attractions as global competition soars.

At the same time, the CS said that a tourism symposium for Kenya Coast which was slated to be held this December will be held from January 31st- 1st February, 2019.

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'' The symposium is expected to bring together all the six county governors and their CECs for tourism and industry stakeholders to chart way forward on the Beach tourism product,'' Balala said.

Balala said that the aim of the conference will be to come up with clear guidelines on fully revamping the beach product and repositioning of the Coast destination as a premier long haul travel location of choice.

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Najib BalalaCouncil of GovernorsTourism CouncilsKenyan tourism