Thursday, 1 September 2016

KENYA: Joho Ignores State House Tourism Summit

Tourism CS Najib Balala accompanied with other officials from the ministry during a press conference at English point Marina, Mombasa on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 ahead of the tourism summit

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has dismissed the State House Tourism Summit as a public relations stunt, saying he was not invited despite the county hosting the event.

"How can CS @tunajibu talk about involving County Govt's and he doesn't invite the host and coast counties to such a forum," s tweet by Joho read.

How can CS @tunajibu talk about involving County Govt's and he doesn't invite the host and coast counties to such a forum. #StateHouseSummit
— Governor Hassan Joho (@HassanAliJoho) August 31, 2016

"Such PR exercises will not advance our tourism.Let's have real conversations with everyone onboard," he added.

Such PR exercises will not advance our tourism.Let's have real conversations with everyone onboard. #StateHouseSummit #TransformingTourismKE
— Governor Hassan Joho (@HassanAliJoho) August 31, 2016

But Tourism CS Najib Balala dismissed Joho, saying the ministry invited counties through Council of Governors' Tourism Committee.

We could dialogue together as stakeholders if only we were invited in the forum. Dialogue is key to creating synergy. #TransformingTourismKE
— Governor Hassan Joho (@HassanAliJoho) August 31, 2016

The summit at State House Mombasa was hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta as he started his three-day Coastal tour.

It is aimed at taking stock of recent recovery of the industry, with discussions around how the momentum can be sustained.

More on this: Tourism rebounds to grow by 12.1 per cent

“After significant setbacks, the sector is in full recovery,” State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said in a statement.

“A number of government incentives have made a difference - among them the scrapping of VAT for park entry fees, concessions for younger visitors, and vigorous new marketing campaign.”