Kenya is currently marking the lifting of travel advisories cautioning travellers about the country’s coast. The advisories were issued in the wake of incidents of terrorism in the recent past.
On the back of that, the country’s tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, has announced a budget for developing beach product and marketing the coast. In addition, tourism players have discussed the formation of a tourism management company to enhance beach product in Mombasa, Diani, Malindi, Watamu and the Lamu archipelago.
Fatma Bashir, Regional Marketing Manager for the Kenya Tourism Board said that over and above improving security on the coast, measures to enhance the flow of tourists to the region have included allocating KES1.2bn to a Charter Incentive that aims to recover lost business from tourist charters. Traditionally, charters from Europe have been a strong generator of visitors to the coast.
Under the programme, all tourist charters with passengers terminating at Moi International Airport in Mombasa and Malindi Airport, will enjoy a waiver of landing fees. They will also benefit from a US$30 passenger subsidy per seat filled by international passengers who terminate or disembark in Kenya until June 30, 2018.
Infrastructurally, Bashir said there were plans for the construction of a bridge linking Mombasa Island and the south coast. This project would ensure efficient tourist transfers between Diani resorts and Mombasa.
Further, the building of a cruise docking berth to enhance the cruise tourism segment was picking up, following improved security in the Indian Ocean waters.