17 May 2014

Kenya: Kandie - Govt to Roll Out Tourism Recovery Plan

Nairobi — The government is next week set to roll out a joint comprehensive tourism recovery plan with the private sector to mitigate the negative impact of travel bans imposed by four Western nations.

In a statement, East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie pointed out that the initiative will market tourism in the country and ensure that all visitors are not only safe but feel at ease while in the country.

While urging Kenyans not to panic but to continue touring parts of the country, Kandie described terrorism as a global challenge that requires concerted efforts by all to defeat, and appealed to foreign nations to withdraw their negative travel advisories.

"Kenya remains safe and open for business. It is our number one priority to ensure that the country leverages fully on our rich tourism product and we will work tirelessly with the private sector and our foreign partners to ensure that Kenya remains a recognised commercial hub in Africa," she stated.

The ministry's Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohamed emphasised that the warmth and the friendly nature of the Kenyan people is renowned globally and that the nation remains home to key international meetings and institutions.

"The factors that make Kenya a preferred tourist destination remain. The country boasts of authentic safari and pristine beaches coupled with other products like culture, birding, adventure, mountain climbing among others," he said.

While expressing his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during Friday's Gikomba twin blasts, he underscored the need for the government and the private sector to forge a strong partnership to address issues of safety and security.

The statement came as the Nairobi City County Business District Association (NCCBDA) launched an initiative dubbed 'Crime Sio Poa,' where it has set aside 30 percent of its resources to help the youth start business ventures thus minimising their involvement in crime and terrorism.

Chairman David Gachuru indicated that many youths who live in squalor turn to crime when they are offered money in exchange for taking part in various vices which may wreck havoc in the society.

He indicated that the initiative will provide resources and skills to young people who desperately look for anything available and urged others in the business community to pool their resources and support it.

"It's about the tendering system. If this institution would give 30 percent of our resources to the youth, how many youth can we engage? The multiplier effect to the other institutions will be huge. If we have like a thousand organisations giving that 30 percent support to the young people, we will get rid of the bad elements because they will have something to do. Yes, the government will give but even businesses, we are asking them why they cannot do something similar?" he said.

His sentiments were echoed by board member Rachel Injete who stressed that the project will supplement government initiatives of supporting the youth.

"The youth are a resource. We just need to turn them around and make them productive because remember they become tax payers, they become our clients and they become part of us."

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