News 2008


Ailing tourism sector gets back on track

March 6, 2008


By Renson Mnyamwezi and Philip Mwakio

The ailing tourism sector is now showing signs of recovery. Tourism players said tourists arriving in Mombasa on charter planes have started visiting the region for safaris.

A spot check revealed that hospitality facilities have started recording relatively good bookings after almost a month-long break.

The Manager of Ngulia Safari Lodge, Mr Cyrus Kiti, said business was picking up, although at a slow pace. He said bed occupancy at the lodge had improved.

Kiti said staff members who had been sent home on unpaid leave have been recalled.

"Tourists are now trickling back to Tsavo National Park and business is taking a positive direction," he said.

A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) tourism officer, Mr Joseph Gichohi, said he hoped poor bookings would become a thing of the past.

KWS has unveiled a programme towards promoting domestic tourism and revenue collection in Tsavo.

The conservation wildlife body has introduced a park shuttle bus service for public tours in the park.

Meanwhile, Kenya is participating at this year’s International Tourism Bourse (ITB) fair, which started in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday.

The annual fair is a forum used to showcase various tourist attractions by players in the hospitality industry and forms an important marketing platform.

Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Managing Director, Dr Ong’ong’a Achieng, said a delegation of Government officials was expected at the fair to boost marketing efforts after poll violence triggered a slump in tourist arrivals.

‘’We are here to drum up support for destination Kenya and hope that we shall succeed," said Ong’ong’a.

Thirty-six companies are showcasing their products at the Kenyan stand.