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KTDC plans to increase lending

CARTOON
By | June 13th 2011

By Philip Mwakio

Large-scale developers of tourism properties have a reason to smile after the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) unveiled plans to scale up its lending options, and give them access more funds.

KTDC Managing director, Maryanne Jordan said the current lending ceiling per applicant, which currently stands at Sh50 million, would change once a syndication agreement with various partner banks is executed.

The plan is meant to shore up developers as financial constraints, including the soaring inflation and the weakening shilling bear down on tourism projects. Moreover, the firm wants to provide funding to developers all over the country.

"It is a matter of time before we start rolling out more funds to those seeking to develop their properties,’’ the MD said.

The firm says it is only a matter of time before it begins rolling out more funds to those seeking to develop their properties.

KTDC loans attract a prevailing interest of nine per cent per annum on reducing balance, over a maximum tenure of up to ten years, with a moratorium on the principal sum.

" Our approach begins before the actual funding, in that we assist in concept development, and also come in after funding to provide professional advice to the investor,’’ she said.

Work out

Jordan added that KTDC is willing to work out problematic loans by exploring options of restructuring and rescheduling payments in the event of a downturn in global tourism business.

She was speaking during a Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) symposium.

She cited some of the concepts that have been actualised recently, including a convention centre to be put up in Mombasa at the Bamburi Haller Park, and roadside convenience stops along tourism circuits in partnership with the Kenya National Oil Corporation.

Jordan also said KTDC is also venturing into the development of marinas. The firm has already identified the site for the Marinas, and land purchase process is ongoing.

"We envision Marinas will have 10 hotels of between 50 to 100 rooms each to preserve ecosystem,’’ she said. Meanwhile, Kenya was ranked as the sixth leading African destination in terms of overseas tourist arrivals by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) competitive index for 2011.

The country had 1.3 million visitors, much lower than South Africa, which received 7 million visitors and was ranked first in the list.

Low spending

The ranking matches that of the international tourism receipts index, which puts South Africa’s income at $7.51 billion, much higher than Kenya’s $689 million.

"This means we are getting the low spending tourists in a globally biodiverse hot spots," analysts say.

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