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Balala asks counties to develop tourism development plans

06 December 2015, 18:18 Geoffrey Kimagut

Nairobi -  Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Najib Balala has urged County governments to prioritize development of their tourism development plans as a way of revamping tourism in the country.

Speaking to the journalists after attending Narok County Investment Summit at the Serena Lodge at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Balala said counties should leave marketing to the national government and concentrate on product development.

He said tourism used to contribute 10 percent of the country's GDP but has dropped to 7 percent.

"Counties must prioritize the development of tourism development plans. Accessibility to the tourist destinations must be guaranteed in terms of infrastructure and security," said Balala.

He said called on the devolved units to embrace cultural tourism apart from the normal wildlife tourism.

"The tourism sector and tourists are more sophisticated than before and this calls for innovation in the sector. Counties must choreograph their tourism industries well because the old style of making people jump and shout does not sell anymore," he said stating that tourist need high end products.

He said in conjunction with County CEC, his ministry will be exploring ways of making tourism products acceptable and affordable.

"We shall not be a favourite tourist destination if we are more expensive than our neighbours. They must be acceptable in terms of quality control and standard. We must give the right service for the price we charge," said Balala.

Balala said the realization of the Vision 2030 may not be actualized if the tourism sector is not revamped and promoted.

Balala said as the festive season commences, security will be bolstered in all major tourist destinations.

"We want to guarantee those who will be visiting our parks and beaches that security has been heightened," said Balala.

- MyNews24

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