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Coast governors urged to prioritize tourism

14 February 2014, 15:28 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - Mombasa County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho has challenged other governors in the coast region to engage each other in order to boost the tourism sector.

Joho said tourism being the backbone of the entire coast region's economy, there was need to overhaul it in order to generate more income for the counties' development.

Speaking during the tourism stakeholder’s forum held at White Sands Hotel in Mombasa on Thursday, Joho said despite of the insecurity challenges being experienced in the region, the counties needed to cooperate and identify weak areas for rectification.

“I urge the governors of other coastal counties to engage us so we can re- energize the sector. I know we have issues of insecurity which we need to deal with but if we identify areas of weakness we can make it," said Joho.

He said Mombasa County is making all the necessary efforts to create a good business environment for investors by improving on the security and transport sector that has been a major challenge.

“We will not run away from the reality; we need to address the issue of roads. We will make sure that a lot of money is allocated for a dual carriage road this financial year,: He added.

The governor added that issues of garbage, insecurity, and the Beach boys’ menace will be dealt with so as to create a good environment for the tourists.

The stakeholders, led by the National chairman of hotel keepers and caterers, Jaideep Vohra had blamed the county governments for sidelining them.

“I don’t think that the government is giving more emphasis on the tourism sector; we should forget politics and focus on the tourism sector," said Vohra.

In the forum that brought together tourism official from all the six coast counties in coast, Joho said the region as a whole would create a marketing website which will be run by professional marketers to market the sector.

The move comes as the counties face a lot of criticism from the entire business community over the introduction of new levies which they said would negatively affect the business fraternity.

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