BY PASCAL MWANDAMBO
The Government has allocated more than Sh 5 billion to revamp the tourism sector in the country with the Coast region set to be the major beneficiary.
This will be a welcome reprieve for the region where the sector is the mainstay of the economy despite a serious downturn in the wake of terrorism threats that has led some western countries to issue travel advisories to its citizens.
“The Government is committed to revamping the tourism sector at the Coast which is endowed with vast national parks and wildlife resources. This will create jobs for our people and improve their standards of living,” said deputy president William Ruto during a tour of Voi sub-county today.
The DP said that both the national and county governments as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector would be brought on board towards the full success of this noble plan.
Ruto pointed out that the Government had set aside Sh 95 million for the Voi-based Coast Institute of technology (CIT), funds he said would mainly go into offering learning facilities and other resources for tourism studies and related courses.
The CIT college is located near Tsavo National park, the largest game conservancy in the country.
Industry players in the tourism sector had earlier hailed the move by the Government for the Sh5.2 billion tourism sector recovery fund, suggesting that 80 per cent of the fund be utilized for direct promotions and not for administrative purposes.
Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) said that the association had laid out elaborate activities aimed at reviving the industry.
The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch vice chairman Silas Kiti said the release of the funds was a clear indication that the Government was committed to reviving the ailing sector in Coast, meanwhile calling for all-inclusiveness in the proposed reforms.
The DP who also officially opened the Sh 300m Maungu lorry park, asked traders in the town to make use of the facility to come up with viable businesses that would generate revenue for the county government.
The lorry park is estimated to generate about sh 3m monthly. The facility has a holding capacity of 182 lorries, has 24 business stalls and 70 guest rooms.
The lorry park will serve to decongest Maungu township where long haul trucks park by the highway, posing potential cause of accidents.
Elephants drink water at a tourism hotel in Voi today: The Government has pledged more than Sh 5 billion to revamp the tourism sector in the country.
Deputy president William Ruto
Ref/i-mpact news/business- wire/2015/8