Green Bay being investigated for inflated Rio ticket costs

2016 Rio Olympics - Olympic Park - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 31/07/2016. Sunset in the Olympic ...
2016 Rio Olympics - Olympic Park - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 31/07/2016. Sunset in the Olympic Park. REUTERS/Nacho Doc

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) has admitted the ticketing costs for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games appear inflated, placing the contracted travel agency, Green Bay Travel Ltd., and the Ministry of Sports under sharper focus.

In their statement, the association acknowledged the quoted costs appear ‘abnormal and exaggerated from an industry standpoint’ and stating they will put the agent to the task of clarifying the legitimacy of the costs.

In addition the association’s executive committee has instructed their disciplinary and fair trade committee to investigate the matter and give a report within 2 weeks.

“We confirm that Green Bay Travel Ltd. is a member of the Association and therefore subject to the provisions in code of conduct and practice. The Association does not condon acts of corruption or any other unethical practices amongst its membership and the code of conduct and practice clearly outlines measures to be taken against such vices in order protect the consumers and the industry,” an excerpt from the statement read.

In the recently released Rio Probe Committee report, the Ministry of Sports forked out Ksh154.5m to Green Bay, an amount later assessed to be Ksh88.6m in excess.

In the outrageous ticket deal, each economy class ticket cost an excessive KSh270,000 compared to those via Kenya Airways direct negotiation while business class cost KSh1.2M each in excess.

In its recommendation, the report invited further investigation from the Police and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on the excess payments to the travel agent.

However, KATA stated that they acknowledged there is a chance the costs could be validated considering air ticket cost fluctuations determined by several factors such as timing of purchase, demand, availability of flights and some which are beyond ticketing agents.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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