Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, says the government will earmark Ksh100 million,just under $1 million for marketing and developing the beach product at the Kenya coast.
It comes after the region has been hit by low international visitor numbers in the wake of the low tourist season and the uncertainty over the upcoming August 8 General Election.
Balala made the announcement in a recent North Coast tourism stakeholders’ meeting.
During the meeting, stakeholders, who included the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers chairman, Jaideep Vohra, discussed how to improve the coastal destination in a bid to attract more holidaymakers.
In the deliberations, tourism players resolved that a Tourism Management Company be established to market the Kenya coast in both local and international markets to drive tourist arrivals.
It was also agreed that the company to be charged with the responsibility of improving the beach product in five cluster zones: Mombasa, Diani, Malindi, Watamu and Lamu archipelago.
Balala noted that the Ksh100 million would help finance the new initiative in the initial stages, but for sustainability, the company would have to be financed by the concerned tourism stakeholders.
In future, the beneficiaries of the beach product’s marketing and development will be required to finance the tourism management company’s operations and calendar of events, he said.
The tourism stakeholders agreed to form the tourism management company before the end of June.
Meanwhile, the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, created for the rescue, care and protection of wildlife, conservation, education and community involvement, has opened as a joint venture between Thula Thula Private Game Reserve, the local Fundimvelo Community Conservation Trust and international animal welfare organisation, Four Paws.
The rehabilitation centre, previously known as the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, closed February, 21
The new facility will fall under the management of Thula Thula game reserve’s staff.
MD of Thula Thula game reserve, Francoise Malby Anthony says: “We are honoured to have the five Amakhosi from the Fundimvelo Conservation Community Trust as our partners as land owners of the Fundimvelo reserve in this new venture, which will allow us to carry on the legacy started by my late husband Lawrence Anthony in matters of community involvement.
We are truly privileged to be in partnership with the animal welfare organisation Four Paws, whose commitment to the protection of wildlife at an international level is renowned.”
Country Director of Four Paw South Africa Fiona Miles says: We are delighted to continue our relationship and develop together with Thula Thula and the local Fundimvelo community.
We want to see a true change in the hearts and minds of people for the protection of wildlife and care of animals
Due to the increasing threat to wildlife on an international scale, security at the rehabilitation centre is the primary focus.
There will be a professional team of animal caretakers, tasked with the caring for the daily needs of wounded or orphaned animals at the centre, under the guidance of local wildlife veterinarians.