(eTN) – Well known banker, and during his successful time in Uganda, CEO of Stanbic Bank, a close acquaintance of this correspondent, Kitili Mbathi was yesterday afternoon introduced to the public as the new Chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) by Najib Balala, Minister of Tourism in the Kenya government.
Kitili succeeds Michael Joseph, who prematurely left this appointment within half a year after bagging a highly lucrative World Bank appointment, leaving KTB in the proverbial lurch.
KTB more recently also saw new board members being introduced, beefing up competence at the board level, and some of the new faces like Serena’s CEO Mahmud Janmohamed, Mombasa Air Safari’s CEO Capt. Johnny Cleave, and widely-respected audit guru Abdul Samji from Mombasa are likely to bring a fresh wind and professional perspectives to the organization during their term of office, fully understanding what it takes to market Kenya’s attractions abroad.
Kitili’s appointment comes at a trying time for Kenya tourism, suffering of negative publicity over the abduction of two foreigners from remoter parts of the coast – far away from the mainstream tourism resorts of Malindi and Mombasa – but it will take a combined effort of persuading the overseas tour operators that security measures now finally taken will “stick” and not sizzle out all too soon, before the Somali situation has been brought under control.