Tourism Ministry partners with county governments to light up towns and clean cities

The Ministry of Tourism has partnered with county governments to light up towns and clean up cities in a bid to reinvigorate the floundering sector. Kenya’s tourism industry, according to Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, needs to be rebranded due to travel advisories that had troubled the sector, as well as recent cases of political unrest in the country ahead of next year’s general election.

“I keep saying that we cannot afford to offer substandard services to domestic tourists, must give value for money,” the CS said yesterday.

“If we do not manage ourselves in 2017 and have a repeat of 2007/2008, we will not recover. We also need to repackage our product, rebrand our country. Instability of the country is worrying us in the Tourism industry,” Balala added.

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking during a recent address in Nairobi. He urged the public and the media to work towards promoting the tourism industry.

“What we are experiencing now brings fear. Bad press is also not doing us good. We cannot control international media, but local print media can do better to manage the situation,” the CS said.

“We are also working with County governments, in lighting towns, cleaning up cities,” Balala added.

The Ministry had earlier announced a deal with Iran aimed at stimulating Kenya’s tourism sector.

In a statement released on Monday, the CS said that he met with H.E. Dr. Hadi Farajvand – Ambassador of Iran to Kenya.

CS Balala and the Ambassador discussed how to promote Kenya as a tourist destination in Iran.

Iran is one of the largest buyers of Kenyan tea. Kenya increased its tea exports to Iran from 2 million kilos to 10 million kilos over a five-year period. Demand for tea in Iran stands at 116 million kilos, with Iran only producing 20 million kilos. Kenya sells about 20 per cent of its tea to Iran.

According to a report from the Africa Economic Development Institute, the two governments are expected to expand transportation and tourism between the two countries.

The report states that both countries had previously signed important agreements on energy, including possible collaboration in nuclear power projects.

“Kenya’s goal to become a fully industrialized middle-income country by 2030 is highly dependent on the country’s ability to satisfy the increasing domestic energy demands. Volatile oil prices, along with the country’s lack of abundant natural resources, have made energy security a progressively important issue,” said the report.




“There is hope for tourism with an increase in numbers in the first quarter,” Balala said, noting that staying the course could bode well for the sector and the country at large.

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