Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Commerce and East Africa Affairs Mrs. Phyllis Kandie is assuring tourism industry players and the country that the strategies she putting in place will move the tourism industry to greater heights.
Speaking during a function organized by the Kenya Tourist Federation ( KTF) in her honor, the cabinet secretary outlined a 10 point plan for the sector which she said will be prioritized to ensure growth in tourism. The plan she said will ensure that the sector delivers 3 million tourist arrivals by 2017.
Top of the agenda is the establishment of a tourism recovery program that will aid the industry to recover some of the markets that were lost after the effects of the 2007 post election violence. She noted that the country and the industry in particular are still struggling with the effects of the 2007 elections which led to lose of markets by the tourism sector.
Mrs. Kandie also said she will strive to streamline the issue of parastatals boards as a matter of urgency to ensure normalcy returns to the various parastatals that have been operating without boards of directors. She also pointed out that she will be working with the ministry of infrastructure to improve roads leading to tourist’s sites. She particularly singled out the Narok Mara road which she said was in bad shape and needed quick attention. The other road she cited was the Mombasa Airport –Diani.
In responding to crisis, the cabinet Secretary also noted that she will be working towards ensuring that a Tourism Crisis Response Committee is in place to help in responding to emergencies within the sector. This she said will help deal with emergency issues that have been affecting the industry and require quick and immediate attention.
Other plans as highlighted by Mrs. Kandie include the issue of rogue operators in the industry, The Implementation of the Tourism Act, the beach product and funding for the ministry of Tourism. She noted that with all the unmatched attractions in the country, Kenya should be the number destination in Africa. She asked stakeholders to cooperate and work towards surpassing the 3 million target set for 2017.
Speaking at the same Function, Permanent Secretary Ambassador Ruth Solitei asked stakeholders in the industry to support the ministry of tourism, and work together towards ensuring growth of the sector. Ambassador Solitei said Implementation of the tourism act was key for the Ministry and assured the Minister that the tourism fraternity will support her efforts to deliver in the new docket.
Immediate Former assistant Minister for Tourism Hon. Cecille Mbarire also attended the function. She assured the cabinet secretary and stakeholders that she will ensure tourism issues get the attention they deserve when they reach the floor of parliament. Private Sector members who included Chairperson of KTF Lucy Karume, CEO Agatha Juma , Private Sector Alliance Vimal Shah were present. They assured the Cabinet Secretary of the private sector’s support towards developing the industry. Others who were present include Kenya Utalii College Principal Dr. Kenneth Ombongi, KTB Managing Director Mureithi Ndegwa among others.