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 Press Room

Tourism Recovery Facing Many Hurdles
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 30 Jun 14

The tourism industry is currently experiencing a myriad challenges most of which are regulatory and policy issues, such as Prohibitive taxation on the industry, underfunding of tourism marketing and damage to destination image due to security incidents.

The industry has continually raised these issues for redress, including a press conference held by KTF on 16th May calling for government intervention to resolve the crisis facing the sector and by extension, the entire economy, owing to tourism's significant multi sector linkages.

Engagements with senior government officials and with the President, led to the constitution by the President of the ‘Tourism Recovery Task Force', to identify measures to steer the sector back on the recovery path.

A budget allocation of Kshs200 million in the just ending financial year was announced by the government for implementation of the recommendations of the team. In anticipation of the funding, the recovery committee, in consultation with the industry, identified a number of short term and long term recovery measures, with the short term measures earmarked for implementation using the Kshs200 million budget. The agreed short term market recovery measures include:

  • Destination perception management through media engagement to manage reporting, media campaign and endorsement by local celebrities
  • International media Familiarization trip
  • Reassurance visits to the traditional source markets

However, the implementation of the short term recovery measures is pending to date as the recovery funds have yet to be released, even as the financial year comes to a close.

As the industry continues to seek government redress over the regulatory issues, the industry, under the umbrella KTF is currently mobilizing its input into the recovery process, with one of the goals being to conduct audit to establish the contribution of the entire tourism value chain into the national economy, and based on these figures justify the calls to government to review the current prohibitive taxes levied on the industry; as well as support the ‘Why I Love Kenya' campaign being spearheaded by KTB to promote a positive online image of the destination. Whereas these recovery measures are expected to temporarily ease the challenges arising from factors such as price un-competitiveness and security incidents, conclusive redress requires government intervention in support of tourism by review of the current taxation regime on the sector, improvement of security and increased engagement with the foreign missions in the country to keep the negative travel advisories in check.


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