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Stakeholders back formation of Coast Tourism Board

11 December 2014, 14:38 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - Stakeholders in the tourism sector have welcomed the move by coastal leaders to form their own tourism marketing board, Coastal Tourism Board (CTB), to spearhead tourism activities in the region.

Leaders last week appointed Taita Taveta women rep, Joyce Lei, to spearhead the Coast Tourism Development Board that is aimed at sealing the loopholes in the sector.

The Board will among other things market coastal tourism hub on international market as well as promote local tourism sector in the region.

Hotels in the coastal region have over 30 000 beds for tourists and can employ over 10 000 people at a time.

The coastal region contributes 60 percent income to Kenyan tourism sector, with over 250 hotels that target both local and international tourists.

Kenya Coast Tourism Association through the chairman Mohammed Hersi has said the Board will help coastal counties to tap into tourism opportunities within the region.

Kenya Association of Tour Operators chairlady, Monica Soladi said the move should not be politicized but should instead guide counties to revamp the sector to its level.

Read Also: Hoteliers say bookings up during festive season

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and caterers chairman Sam Ikwaye asked the coastal leaders to identify professionals who will run the board to avoid collapse.

“We fully support the move, but the leaders should not politicize it. It will be advisable if they consider persons with expertise in the sector to run the board,” said Ikwaye.

Tourism sector almost went to its knees following the travel advisories issued by western states and the series of terror attacks that drove international tourists away.

The stakeholders have however raised concerns over the new tourism levies imposed by the government saying they have demoralized tourists willing to tour the region.

The leaders said insecurity, which is posing a major challenge to the growth of the tourism sector, will be dealt with in collaboration with the central government.

The steering committee chairman, Salim Mvurya said it was time coastal counties exploited economical potential in their regions and thus the board creation was in order.

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- MyNews24

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