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Sports, domestic tourism can boost earnings

By | December 23rd 2009

By Standard Team

Tourism Minister Najib Balala has announced plans to tap into domestic and sports tourism to cushion the industry from global economic shocks.

Speaking at the 40th Nyali Open Golf tournament in Mombasa, Balala said there was great potential in domestic and sports tourism.

"My ministry is at the forefront in tapping new avenues that could make Kenya a popular long haul vacation site with many attractions," he said.

Balala said the Kenya Tourist Board gave Sh500,000 for the event and will sponsor the event next year.

Meanwhile, the tourism sector has recorded a 90 per cent growth after the post-election violence that rocked the country two years ago.

The minister said the resurgence was due to the growing domestic tourism. Balala said the recovery had almost matched the performance registered in 2007, noting that Kenyans were traveling to various parts of the country in appreciation of diverse culture, good sceneries and other tourism sites.

Rich culture

"We need to promote further our domestic tourism. The country has rich cultures, lakes and scenaries," said Balala. Balala also said Kenya is courting investment from the United Arab Emirate (UAE) to develop the country’s infrastructure for long-term travel gains from the Middle East.

The Minister said that by 2011, the country would be ready to attract key players from the UAE’s hospitality industry, including the Jumeirah Group and Rotana, with added incentives of tax breaks and facilitating them in land acquisition to build state-of-the-art resort cities.

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