Governor reaches out to billionaire after he threatens to pull out of “dirty” Malindi
A few days after Italian Billionaire Flavio Biatore threatened to pull out his investments from Malindi in Kilifi County, Governor Amason Kingi hurriedly convened a meeting with the businessman on Friday, January 5.
The billionaire had on Thursday, December 5 threatened to sell his Lion in the Sun Hotel over failure by the county government to lobby the national government put up an international standard airport in Malindi.
He also slammed the county government over poor environmental conditions and bad roads in the coastal town.
Speaking at his Billionaire Resort on Thursday, Biatore rued “in Malindi nothing changes. The roads are in bad condition. Every year is the same, we talk and nothing happens for instance we have talked about putting in place an airport for the last 7 years but still no progress.”
Citizen Digital’s attempts to reach the county government for comment proved futile. Sources, however, indicated that county officials were poised to meet Biatore on Friday but the meeting did not take place.
Reports further indicate that newly-appointed Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Saturday, January 6 met with the billionaire to address his concerns.
According to the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers’-a key stakeholder in the hotel industry at the coast-Kilifi County chairperson Philip Chai, county officers have been in contact with the billionaire in a bid to woo him to stay put saying his exit would deal a “huge blow” to the region’s tourism industry.
“The county has contacted the Billionaire Resort’s management to arrange for a meeting with the Italian investor because his hotels generate a lot of revenue for the government and have employed a lot of people,” said Chai.
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