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Tour operators blame hoteliers and police for harrassment

26 April 2013, 14:46 Alloys Musyoka

Tour operators in Malindi within Kilifi County are up in arms over what they claim as alleged harassment by security personnel who liaise with hoteliers to intimidate them in the beaches.

The operators are also against employment of foreigners in posts which can be filled by local residents.

Addressing a gathering during a meeting attended by Kilifi county senator Stewart Madzayo among others at Movida Bar, the Chairman of Malindi Tour guides association Juma Mwaringa Mwadzuwa said tour operators - including those with legal permits to operate in beaches - were being harassed by police.

“Many times hoteliers usually liaise with security agents to harass us whenever there are arrivals of tourists, so we want this issue addressed by county government because we also pay to work,” said Mwadzuwa.

As tour operators accuse hoteliers for liaising with police to harass them, hoteliers have blamed them for harassing tourists who visit the beaches.

According to hoteliers in the area, tour operators always work without proper mode of operation and sometimes cause chaos in the beaches thus scaring visitors away.

Mwadzuwa claimed that hoteliers are employing foreigners to perform duties which can be done by locals.

He said the conflict between them and hoteliers arises because foreigners compete with locals to do the same jobs in the area.

“Those foreigners working in hotels are paid more salaries than locals who does the same job and that is another issue which we want addressed,” he added.

Stewart Madzayo assured tour operators that plans are underway to streamline tourism operations across Kilifi County.

The senator said that proper policies that will ensure locals to benefit from tourism will be set soon since tourism is one of the main economic activities in the county.

He urged tour operators to come up with a list of their grievances so that a bill can be set and taken to parliament saying once made law, it will guide their operations.

Malindi district Officer Commanding Station promised that they will ensure they cooperate with tour operators.

Low season has started in Malindi and it will continue until July after most of the tourists left for their countries. They will be expected to visit again during the so called High season, starting July.

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