Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism is seeking additional Sh450 million funding from treasury to finance renewed marketing campaigns in Europe to mitigate effects of the Eurozone crisis which various analysts fear may lead to a recession.
Minister for Tourism Najib Balala revealed that treasury has agreed to release an initial Sh200million next month to shore up the marketing budget.
Tourism Ministry was allocated Sh750 million by treasury for marketing in the current financial year. Balala said that due to the crisis which Kenya has no control over and the travel advisories that were given by various European governments due to the Al Shabaab war, the country would need to re-market itself before things get worse. “If it (recession) happens when we have not aggressively marketed our brand this could be bad for us because it will greatly affect our key source markets……the marketing campaigns will help us refresh the brand and promote Kenya as a destination in the global media,” noted Balala.
He is proposing that departure tax which is levied on person’s leaving the country and included in the air ticket be increased by $10 from the current $20 with the extra collection to be directed towards tourism marketing. This, he said could bring in an extra $30 million annually which could boost Kenya Tourism Board’s marketing budget.
He was speaking at his office after releasing the industry’s performance results for the period between January and October. Tourism arrivals for the period rose by 16 per cent compared to the same duration last year from 896,228 to 1,039,852. This is excluding arrivals via the road. The industry netted Sh81 billion over the period surpassing even the total amount recorded over the entire 2010 which stood at Sh73 billion. “This will be a good year we expect that by end of December arrivals will reach 1.3 million and we are likely to surpass the Sh100 billion mark in earnings for the year,” remarked Balala.
With the exception of India which edged out France, as usual the top five markets were UK, USA, Italy, Germany and India respectively. UK registered a growth of 13.1 per cent with 164,146 tourists, US grew by 8.4 per cent to 99,329, Italy rose by 16.8 per cent to 77,990, German tourists were 56,735, a 16.2 per cent rise and India had 49,218 which is a 23.2 per cent growth. In Africa Uganda remained the top source market with registered arrivals excluding by road standing at 36,030 followed by South Africa which recorded 31,355 arrivals.