Tourism sector grows by 10.4% in nine months

The Kenya tourism sector recorded a 10.4 per cent growth in the first nine months of 2017, the government announced over the weekend.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said international arrivals have been witnessed more at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi as compared to Mombasa’s Moi International Airport.

JKIA recorded a 11.1 per cent growth receiving 655,569 guests compared to 589,958 in 2016, whereas Moi Airport got 66,699 visitors compared to 65,600 in 2016.

“Mombasa grew by only 2 per cent,” said Balala.

Balala said the government will work on introducing incentives on investments to encourage new hotel investments across the region.

He said an investor who wants to put up a hotel facility will be given a five-year tax free break to help them recoup their capital.

“Nairobi has over 6,000 new beds. Mombasa has not seen new modern hotels coming up, therefore we will come with incentives to encourage investors,” he said.

On Saturday, Mombasa received on board MS Nautica cruise ship Marshall Islands in North Pacific Ocean.

Balala said they have a clear strategy on developing cruise ship tourism along the Indian Ocean circuit, which will benefit Kenya and the East African region most.

However, he blamed the contractor building the new cruise ship terminal at the port of Mombasa, saying they are taking too long to complete the works.

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Source: The Star, Kenya