Balala: Here’s why tourists prefer Tanzania to Kenya


Balala: Here's why tourists prefer Tanzania to Kenya
Tourism CS Najib Balala during a past press conference

In Summary

  • Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has raised concerns over the state of hotels in the country saying that lack of enough world class hotels in Kenya has made Tanzania a better proposition for tourists in East Africa.
  • Speaking during a talk show on Tuesday morning, Balala noted that while the number of foreign tourists increased from 1,342,899 in 2016 to 1,474 671 in 2017, the country has a potential of attracting many more tourists if hotel infrastructure and customer service is improved.
  • He said that the country targets to attract to attract 2.5 million tourists per year by 2022.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has raised concerns over the state of hotels in the country saying that lack of enough world class hotels in Kenya has made Tanzania a better proposition for tourists in East Africa.

Speaking during Citizen Extra show on Tuesday, Mr. Balala noted that while the number of foreign tourists increased from 1,342,899 in 2016 to 1,474,671 in 2017, the country has the potential of attracting many more tourists if hotel infrastructure and customer service is improved.

“The biggest challenge that we have as an industry is security. Our porous border with Somalia is also a concern for our visitors. However the situation is normalising. The reason why Tanzania did better than us in 2017 is because their hotels are brand new and modern while our hotels are 40 years old,” he said.

“People are not just coming because they want a hotel bed around them. They want activities around their vacation. They want to feel the experience. They don’t want to come to the airport and be harassed by an immigration officer or a taxi driver or go to a hotel with substandard service,” added the CS.

While saying that the country targets to attract to attract 2.5 million tourists per year by 2022, the CS said that the government has engaged the hoteliers and agreed on the standards needed to attain the government’s goals.

JKIA

Mr. Balala further said tourists should anticipate for better services at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after an impromptu inspection by himself and his Interior and Transport and Infrastructure counterparts Fred Matiangí and James Macharia on January 10.

“We have signed a three-ministry MOU. We started actualising it 10 days ago. There is training of airport staff. Improvement of signage and better handling of tourists by customs and immigration officials,” said Balala.

He said that the MOU clearly states the role of each ministry in service delivery at the airport highlighting that Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Jonny Andersen will be tasked with ensuring that handling of tourists at the facility is top notch.

 

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