Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala yesterday unveiled a Sh1.2 billion Charter Incentive Programme for Kenya (CIP) that will see the cost of travel for tourists visiting the Kenyan coast reduced in a move that is aimed at boosting the struggling sector and help restore “Kenya’s tourism crown”.
According to the CS, who was recently appointed in the docket in the recent cabinet reshuffle by president Uhuru, the subsidy is aimed at boosting and stimulating Charter Airlines to fly to the Kenyan coast. The landing fee waiver applies to Moi International Airport, Mombasa and Malindi Airport and would be effected in January 2016 to June 2018.
“One of the challenges we face in stimulating the region’s tourism recovery is the relatively high costs experienced by our visitors. It is a simple fact that it is often cheaper to go somewhere else,” Balala said.
The incentive has been welcomed by tourism industry players. The move, which they say was among recommendations they had passed to the CS.
We welcome the decision as it is aimed at increasing the number of tourists to the country, which will lead to full recovery. Hopefully, 2017 will also be a good year despite elections because this measure will win the confidence of travel agents, who will give us the numbers,” Ikwaye said.