Kenya planning to increase earnings from tourism

Kenya has announced plans to increase its earnings from tourism activities.

The government of Kenya has said that it was planning to raise as much as KES100bn from tourism related activities this year. Tourism minister, Dan Mwazo, said that the nation was planning to promote itself as an important tourist destination and has planned aggressive marketing campaigns to boost its stature on the tourism world map. The minister said that the nation had earned KES98bn from tourism last year, and is now planning to increase the inflow to KES100bn this year.

The statement from the minister has come as a much-needed boost to Kenya’s tourism sector, which was recently affected by acts of terrorism that had created an impression that it was unsafe for tourists.

The minister said, ‘We have successfully marketed Kenya as the best tourist destination in the world, but security issues and poor road network threaten to reverse the gains. We intend to venture into other potential markets. Over reliance on the traditional markets will not increase tourism revenue.’ He also said that the nation’s tourism department would attract more tourists from traditional markets and increase marketing of the nation’s forest reserves. Of the 59 reserves in the nation, the government is actively marketing only five, the minister said. He also said that the government was making plans to diversify its tourism offerings.

Kenya is known for its wildlife that attracts tourists to its forests and grasslands. Home to lions, leopards and hyenas, the Masai Mara national reserve witnesses the yearly migration of wildebeests from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania, to Kenya via the Mara River. The migration is a spectacular event that has been popular with tourists who mostly come to Kenya from the US, UK Germany and France.

In a related development, Kenyan scientists have called upon their government to tap the potential of the nation’s prehistoric fossils to boost the tourism industry.

The nation has become famous for the discovery of Turkana boy, a nearly complete skeleton of a hominid who died in the early Pleistocene era. It is claimed to be the most complete skeleton of our human ancestors so far discovered.

 

Travellers Told ‘Complain to Your MP About Rise In Air Passenger Duty’

An alliance of more than 30 airlines and tour operators is encouraging travellers to complain to their MP’s about increases in Air Passenger Duty.

The alliance, calling itself ‘A Fair Tax on Flying,’ is also intending to create a list of at least 100,000 signatures of travellers that are disgruntled by the tax increases, which have seen APD rise by 360 percent in the last 7 years. Depending on distances travelled, APD can now add as much as £368 to the flight cost for a family of four, which the alliance say can deter British holidaymakers from travelling abroad and foreign visitors from visiting the UK. Taxes for premium seat passengers can double.

The alliance claims that, ‘Only five European countries tax passengers when they fly overseas and UK rates are twice the level of the next most expensive tax (which is in Germany). A Fair Tax on Flying campaign has calculated that the Treasury collected more than twice as much in passenger taxes in 2011 than the all other European countries that levy a tax combined.’

By visiting www.afairtaxonflying.org and registering their personal details, complainants can have a letter sent in their name to their local MP. It is claimed that in excess of 1,000 people supported the campaign in its first day. The letter reads, ‘Many other European countries, including Holland, Denmark and Belgium, have scrapped their APD because of the impact it was having on families and the wider economy. I ask that you write to the Chancellor to request that the Treasury undertakes research to determine the impact of APD on UK holidaymakers, employment and economic growth.’

The alliance, which includes British Airways, TUI Travel, the British Airline Pilot’s Association and many more major names in the travel industry, has launched a Facebook page to support the campaign at www.Facebook.com/afairtaxonflying.