Tourism CS Balala slashes park charges to boost tourism

Friday, July 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala. Photo/KENNA CLAUDE

Tourism CS Najib Balala yesterday announced the reduction of park entry fees by 50 per cent to spur the tourism sector which has been ravaged by Covid-19.

Speaking on Thursday, Balala also announced a moratorium for free rent for all lodges within Kenya Wildlife Parks.

Companies and individuals operating lodges and tented camps in KWS-owned facilities will be exempted from paying rent.

Game reserves

Film makers will also enjoy a 50 per cent reduction in fees remitted to the wildlife service when shooting documentaries in national parks and game reserves.

The CS is banking on the three measures which will be effective for one year from July 1 this year to June 30 next year among a raft of measures to spur the sector which has since the March lost up to Sh80 billion.

“Let us all support Kenya tourism economy by travelling together. We should be the first one to support our own,” the CS said. 

Some 1.6 million tourism jobs are at risk with the industry having lost between 60-80 per cent of sales due to coronavirus, said the National Crisis Report released by Balala earlier this week.

Adverse effects

The government set aside Sh500 million to cushion the sector against the adverse effects of the pandemic which has put up to 120 million tourism jobs at risk globally after international flights were banned.

Dickson Ritan, head of KWS Central Area Conservation Area said slashing park entry fees would see a surge in the number of local visitors during the July - October peak season.

“Families will now be able to beat the boredom outdoors with their families,” he said.

More on Economy and Policy