Article by Winnie Kabintie
Kenya can now boast of having a Marina in addition to her world class tourist attractions following the launch of the English point Marina in Mombasa by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday.
The Sh5 billion magnificent tourist resort, hailed as “a piece of Monte Carlo to Kenya”, is the first of its kind between Cape Town in South Africa and Cairo in Egypt.
The facility, which is built on a 4-acre ocean view plot, makes a luxury lifestyle attainable with a boutique hotel, waterfront apartments, serviced marina, boardwalk cafes, casino, spa and shops. It also contains 8 penthouses, a seafront restaurant, as well as a boardwalk with retail outlets, water-sports centre and fully-serviced 88-berth marina.
It features a 26-room hotel, conferencing facility, a roof-top restaurant, a casino, swimming pool and 96 serviced apartments.
“English Point Marina will put Kenya on the map of the luxury yacht market and the investment is set to open up Kenya to the high-end international ocean traveler,” said president Uhuru.
“It has taken Mombasa to the international map, being a marina and we can compete with any marina in the other areas around us, “said tourism CS Najib Balala.
GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES TO BOOST TOURISM
President Uhuru, who was accompanied by the first lady and Tourism secretary Najib Balala among other leaders, also announced a great deal of incentives that aim to boost tourism and especially in the coastal region.
Uhuru said that the government has set aside sh 1.2 billion incentives for charter planes to stimulate demand at the coast.
These includes waiving of visa fees for children under 16 with effect from 1 February, landing fee waiver to Moi International Airport in Mombasa and Malindi airport which takes effect immediately and reducing parking fees to $60 (sh 6000)down from $90 (sh 9000).
On Saturday the president launched construction of the Port Reitz/Moi International access road, a crucial link that will decongest the coastal city, making it more attractive to tourists. The road will allow tourists to get from the mainland to the south coast without using the ferry.