More incentives for tourism sector

Visa fee for children waived, park fee reduced

The government has waived visa fee for children less than 16 years of age beginning next month as part of the strategy to recover the tourism sector.

Park fee will also be capped at 60 USD down from 90 US dollars for the financial year 2016/17.

The head of State, Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Treasury to follow up on the directive and make necessary amends on respective laws for its full implementations.

He made remarks while launching Marina English Point Hotel in Mombasa.

The Visa fee waiver for children below 16 years of age applies to all nationalities and is aimed at positioning Kenya as a family holiday destination thereby encouraging more family visitors into the country.

Charter incentives

The new incentives add to the charter incentives that came into effect from January this year. The Shs 1.2 billion incentive is offering a passenger subsidy of USD 30 per seat filled with international passengers who terminate or disembark in Kenya.

Charter airlines will need to ensure that 80% of their passengers terminate in Malindi or Mombasa as well as commit to operate the Kenyan route for at least two consecutive years to qualify for the programme.

Landing fee for all charter airlines terminating their journeys at the Kenyan coast has also been waived in the program that will run till June 30th 2018. It be reviewed after six months to suit prevailing market conditions and based on performance.

The head of State said the move was aimed at increasing tourism numbers especially to the coastal region that has borne the brunt of a dip in tourist numbers.

Infrastructure development

On infrastructure, the president said the Dongo Kundu by pass will be speeded up noting that once completed, it will allow tourists the pleasure of getting from the mainland to the South Coast without having to use the ferry.

He said the expansion of Malindi Airport will also deliver convenience for visitors to the region with direct flights.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the incentives have given a new lease of live to the tourism industry and noted that his ministry has embarked on implementation of the programs in collaboration with the private sector.