Kwale:Government urged to uplift Turkish airline restrictions in the coast!

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Turkish-Airlines/Image Courtesy

By Caroline Kahonzi

Kwale county government has partnered with tourism stakeholders in search of a  permanent solution to the challenges bedeviling the tourism sector.

The move comes at a time when the   tourism sector is experiencing a low season of below 40 Percent,  forcing the  tourism investors in the coastal region to depend on hotel conferences.

Speaking during  a consultative tourism  stakeholder’s forum  in Diani , Kwale  County  tourism  and trade  executive committee,  CEC Michael Mutua  says  there is a need  for frequent dialogues  with stakeholders  to  address sensitive challenges  facing the tourism sector in the coastal region .

“The County government  alone can’t come up with an amicable solution surrounding the tourism sector without partnering with tourism investors and stakeholders ,there is need for discussions and doubling  up efforts to  boost the tourism sector ,”Said Mr.Mutua .

The CEC noted the restriction on Turkish airlines by the National government is an impediment to the growth of the sector.

“Restrictions on The Turkish airline have affected tourism growth in coast region , we are appealing to our county governor Fatuma Achani to  table this issue before  the council of governors to  push  the National government to open the sky’s for Turkish airline which has a huge  tourism  connection market in the world,the ban has really affected  tourism in  coast region  ,” Posed  Mr.Mutua .

Mr. Mutua said plans are underway of regulating cottages and villas to ensure fair tourists competition with the sector.

“ We have seen tourists coming to Diani but they are not found in hotels ,their whereabouts is not known that is why we want to regulate the cottages and villas  accordingly  for the county government to get a chance of collecting  revenue and at the same time create job opportunities to our youth ,if we allow cottages and villas to operate without regulations we will kill our hotel industry ,” emphasized Mr.Mutua .

He added that the county government has set aside funds this financial year to market Diani as a tourism destination.

Kioko Musyoki, manager of Leopard beach hotel reiterated that the Turkish airline landing in Zanzibar would be a big blow to the tourism sector in Kenya .

“the major challenge we are facing is the travels of international tourists ,Turkish airline  has been our front line airline  flying  tourists to our country  ,so we thought  the government would open the sky  for the  Turkish airline  that has over 73 connection markets in the world,the move by  our neighbor Zanzibar authorizing Turkish airline to flocking tourists in their country will be a blow to us,Said Mr.Musyoki .

Kenya Association of Hotel-keepers and Caterers (KAHC)  coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye  says the tourism  industry is optimistic  of the high season from July , calling upon the National government to ensure the country remains calm .

“we are actually expecting an increase in foreign and domestic  visitors from July if the government will manage the political challenges   experienced  leading to demonstrations that  cause destruction of properties and claim lives of innocent people then the tourism industry will be strengthened ,” Said Mr.Ikwaye .

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