(eTN) – Visitors to Kenya’s national parks now pay US$80 per person, per day to enter into the prime national parks across the country, as a new set of tariffs became effective earlier in the week.
The new rules appear to have discontinued the low and shoulder season tariffs of US$60, and raised the year-round fees to the high season level of US$80, a move not generally welcomed by the tourism fraternity.
“Our recovery is still ongoing; there are many factors out there which can set us back this year. We are ahead in arrivals compared to 2010, but there are storm clouds again over the fate of the world economy we cannot ignore. I personally feel that this change in tariffs with immediate effect was not in the best interest of the tourism industry; they should have consulted, and if at all, given long notice of the rise in fees to cater for it in quotations and our pricing,” said a regular source from Nairobi in an email communication overnight.
Other stakeholders dismissed the claims by government that Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) needed to raise revenue, citing the favorable exchange rate development. “Last year, KWS got a little over 70 Kenya shillings for the dollar, and now they get over 90 Kenya shillings for the dollar – that is almost 30 percent more they now get into their accounts. Still they raise their tariffs with no notice, which is bad practice and makes a mockery of their ‘partnership’ with the private sector,” wrote another source from Mombasa.
Only yesterday did news break that the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority was planning a fee whopper with some increases reaching up to 400 percent over current fees, and tourism and aviation stakeholders are accusing government of being insensitive to observing consultative dialogue and giving maximum notice of such tariff increases.