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KTB wants Sh2b to market Kenya

By | May 22nd 2010

By Philip Mwakio

The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) requires Sh2 billion from the exchequer for marketing.

Tourism Minister Najib Balala said the monies will go towards marketing Kenya as a preferred long haul destination.

"We are hoping that this amount will be factored in the Government’s budget this year," said Balala.

Out of the total amount, he said Sh200 million will be earmarked for marketing Kenya as a destination of choice to international airlines and charter firms globally while domestic tourism will get Sh100 million.

Mr Balala spoke on Friday during the opening of the annual Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) investors’ symposium at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort.

Balala said air traffic growth is a key factor in the development of tourism yet it has continued to receive little or no attention at all.

"We cannot talk of having adequate tourists when there are no seats on flights to bring them here. Currently, there are lesser that 50 charter flights rotations into Kenya," he said.

The Minister, who was flanked by acting PS Eunice Miima, said KTB will partner with the Kenya Airports Authority and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to ensure Kenya’s two major international airports are marketed to handle more foreign airlines.

Upgrading JKIA

He said while Mombasa’s Moi International Airport remains the hub for charters, more has to be done at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, to attract charters.

Balala told participants at the symposium that despite meagre allocation from the Government, the Ministry through KTB, has repositioned Kenya as a leading tourist destination in Africa and the East African region as a whole.

He said all hotels, restaurants and lodges will undergo the mandatory classification in November.

Balala said relocation of vendors from the beaches would be carried out soon. "Funds have been made available to start a pilot project in Malindi. About 1,000 beach vendors will be relocated from the main beach lines."

The move, he said, will address complaints by tour operators over constant harassment of guests.

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