NAIROBI—The Kenyan government has allocated USD 100 million to boost the tourism sector, up from the previously budgeted USD 50 million.
Cabinet Secretary for Commerce and Tourism, Phyllis Kandie, on Monday told a media briefing in Nairobi that the funds would be used mainly to promote Kenya as a “safe tourism destination”.
“The funds will be spent to improve Kenya’s image abroad in the key source markets as well as in the emerging tourism source markets,” Kandie said.
The return of the German airline Lufthansa’s business in Kenya after a 18-year hiatus was announced at the media briefing.
A day earlier, Kandie told a forum that Kenya’s tourism sector has started to recover two years after a shooting at Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that killed at least 67.
Somalia-based Islamist group Al-Shabaab masterminded the attack after which several Western countries, including Britain and the US, issued travel warnings for Kenya.
Kandie said Kenya experienced a tough period after the attack as hundreds of jobs were lost and the image of the country dented.
She told reporters tourism was important to Kenya’s economy and the government was committed to reverse the decline.
Kenya Tourism Board managing director Muriithi Ndegwa described diversifying the sources of tourists to reduce reliance on traditional markets as key in the recovery plan.
“We are increasing our marketing efforts in emerging markets such as China, India and the Middle East,” Ndegwa said.
Early this year, Britain lifted its warning against travelling to part of Kenya’s coast.