News 2008


Tourism faces Sh70bn losses

Story by NATION Reporter

11. March 2008

Local tourism operators are predicting a Sh70 billion loss in sales as the high season, normally between December and April, comes to a close.

Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) chairman, Mr Kuldip Sondhi, said in Mombasa that the fragile sector has suffered heavy losses from which it will be hard to recover in subsequent seasons.

Good deal

“This year, our projected revenue was about Sh70 billion and a good deal of that was to come in the high season which is December to April,” he said.

And in a bid to offset further negative effects, tourism industry players are now asking Kenyans to engage in domestic tourism. “This season has been lost and with it most of the potential revenue. However, Kenyans can now take advantage of our tourism products at greatly reduced rates,” said Mr Sondhi.

He was speaking in Mombasa over the weekend when he presided over the Coast regional launch of the ongoing Nakumatt Smart Safari Promotion.

Mr Sondhi asked other leading corporates to emulate Nakumatt’s initiative and consider partnering with the local tourism sector.

Nakumatt Holdings operations director, Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, said that the supermarket chain was committed to facilitating inter-economic sector partnerships. “As players in the wholesale and retail sector, we are committed to ensuring that we support other ailing economic sectors for the common good of the Kenya economy,” he said. Mr Ramamurthy confirmed that plans to construct a third branch in Mombasa are on course as part of the firm’s expansion strategy.

Nakumatt has launched three shopping promotions valued at more than Sh10 million aimed at increasing domestic tourism.

Mr Ramamurthy expressed optimism that through these promotions, some jobs and livelihoods will be saved while raising awareness on Kenya’s tourism products locally.

“We are fully aware of our role and obligation on the national economic front and are therefore sparing no effort in ensuring that we meet these obligations,” he said.