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Kenya: Measures to Boost Tourism
The Kenyan Government and tourism industry have come up with radical measures to help bring back tourists in our country. Among the key measures is developing an interactive Kenya Tourism Portal, within a week, to promote and manage booking and distribution of domestic guests under the Tourism Stimulus Program.
Other measures taken to revamp the sector include: under Tax measures where the Government, with effect from 12th June 2014, will allow all corporate and business entities to pay vacation trip expenses for their staff on annual leave in Kenya and deduct such expenditures in their taxes where the government shall directly give at least 25,000 Kenyans a chance to go for a week's holiday every month at the expense of their employers, bringing to total over 300,000 additional Kenyan guests in hotels throughout the country.
President Uhuru highlighted that with effect from 29th May 2014, all air ticketing services supplied by travel agents were exempted under the VAT Act, 2013 so as to enhance competitiveness in the region adding that all outstanding income tax related refunds amounting owed to the tourism industry players will paid out by Kenya Revenue Authority. We expect this measure to improve sector liquidity and cash-flow.
To further encourage local guests in our National parks and attract both regional and international tourists, all park fees currently set at USD90 per non-resident and KShs.1,200 per resident guest shall be reduced to USD.80 and KShs.1,000, respectively, effective 12th June 2014 and to encourage both local and international flights into Moi International Airport and Malindi Airport, the Government has reduced, with immediate effect, the landing charges by 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Also, The National Government urged the County Governments to reallocate all their foreign travels budgets to domestic travels in order to spur growth of domestic tourism and sustain employment.
It was also affirmed that for the Medium to Long Term measures, the Government will shortly reconstitute a Task Force with a mandate of developing a strategy to address underlying challenges and positioning Kenya as the preferred destination for safari, commercial, educational and health, conferencing and professional services in Africa, attracting at least 5 million guests in the next 5 years.