Kenyan coast resort operators blame government for lack of tourists
(eTN) - A regular source from the Kenyan coast reports overwhelming disappointment by industry stakeholders associated at the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association. He quoted that MCTA chairman Mohammed Hersi, who gave the present performance a 6.5 out of a possible 10, a far cry from the 10 out of 10 when Kenya broke all records last year, before Islamist terrorists from the Al Shabab group in Somalia attacked tourists and resorts at a distant stretch of beach near the Somali border.
Another stakeholder pointed out that now is the time to invest in product innovation, upgrades of hotels and resorts and a complete review of the way guests are entertained and looked after, to copy the methods of 5 star destinations like the Maldives or Seychelles. ‘When you write about the resorts in Seychelles for instance, that is the quality we need to restore in Kenya. We need to incorporate the lessons from others and need to learn what they do to bring their own numbers up when everyone else stares at losses this year. Mauritius is down, and they are wondering what went wrong there, Mombasa is down too and we know what is wrong. The product is tired; we need to move from the 70’s and 80’s into the next decade of the new millennium. That requires government support with investment incentives but with elections coming, I do not see that happen this year, so that is a year lost. Tourism has to lobby now already not just for adjustments in budgets for this year but for the next few years ahead’.
The upcoming COMESA Tourism Forum in Nairobi will undoubtedly be a suitable platform to discuss the various approaches and the future of tourism in the trade block. It remains to be seen what recommendations the COMESA Tourism Forum will make to the private and public sectors to move the industry ahead and anchor it firmly as one of the key engines of economic growth amongst member countries.
For now though, tourism stakeholders at the Kenya coast are disgruntled and are getting angrier by the day, demanding immediate counter action by KTB and the Ministry of Tourism.