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State tourism agency to fund innovative projects up to Sh100m: State tourism agency to fund innovative projects up to Sh100m

BUSINESS
By Patrick Alushula | February 10th 2017

Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) is offering debt financing of up to Sh100 million to investors who want to initiate innovative tourism projects.

According to TFC, a tourism-specialised development financial institution, the investors looking for the funds will be required to establish joint innovation projects and apply for funding.

“The funding is primarily focused on developing innovative products, services and concepts that are beneficial for the tourism sector,” said TFC in an advert yesterday.

Some of the projects being targeted are cruise boats and floating restaurants in both Mombasa and Kisumu, city bus tour vehicles, amusement parks and water fun parks. Others potential initiatives that stand to benefit from the funding are public-private partnership projects at commercial plots in Mombasa and Nairobi.

To qualify for funding, there will be technical evaluation criteria which is expected to give priority to projects that display among other things innovation and empowerment to women and the youth.

On the checklist is also the sustainability of the project based on sound planning and realistic financial projections.

The aim of the funding, TFC said, is to help attract more tourists to the destination through diverse tourism products. The body hopes that availability of such products will extend the time of stay for international and domestic tourists. The bottom line is expected to be increased income from tourism as well as more employment opportunities.

Landing fees

Tourism has been on a recovery path following improved security situation as well as incentives from the Government. Since January last year, the Ministry of Tourism has been exempting from paying landing fees, all chartered planes terminating at Moi International Airport (Mombasa) and Malindi Airport in bid to boost tourism numbers.

Further, the ministry announced a Sh3,105 ($30) per seat filled by international passengers who terminate or land in Kenya over the same period in an offer expected to end in June 2017.

This was in a bid to recover lost business from tourist charter airlines which had fled following unending threats from the terror group, al Shabaab.

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