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16 April 2016, 14:58
Nyeri (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government is urging local investors in the tourism sector to set up facilities in the counties with tourism potential as part of diversification plan to unlock products to overseas markets.
Tourism Secretary Najib Balala said Friday that devolved government structure has provided a lot of opportunities for the tourism sector to thrive, adding that plans are in the pipeline to market various attractions in the country's 47 counties in international markets.
"Counties are identifying new and unique products to showcase and this will increase visitations to these areas. We therefore need accommodation and catering facilities," Balala said after officiating the opening of Giraffe Ark Game Lodge in Nyeri County, central Kenya.
The facility accommodates a maximum of 120 clients besides conferencing facilities.
The CS said the government will enhance its incentive programs such as tax exemptions to encourage investors come up with new products in the tourism sector.
Balala said the national government will offer necessary expertise on tourism product development in line with tourism diversification strategy.
"Identifying and promotion of unique tourism products in the counties is within our strategy of diversification and we are keen on opening up other areas that are unknown," he said.
The East African nation aims to be one of the top ten long-haul tourist destinations in the world, offering a high-end, diverse, and distinctive visitor experience.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has for a long time been accused of focusing too much on wildlife and beach products, ignoring cultural, adventure and business facilities which have in the past relied on fragmented promotion efforts by the proprietors.
KTB has in the past concentrated its promotion efforts on the traditional U.S. and European source regions, but has of late been diversifying to emerging markets such as India, the Middle East, Brazil and China.