Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala has described the recently launched Tourism Blueprint 2030 a game changer and has called on sector stakeholders to support the government efforts to transform the industry.
Balala said the players in the industry should play a leading role in the implementation of the blue print, which aims at transforming Kenya into an innovative and vibrant destination.
The master plan also aims at increasing the number of both international and local tourists to 30.4 million and expand the number of direct jobs in the tourism sector to 561,800 by the year 2030.
The National Tourism Blueprint 2030 is anchored on product development, marketing, tourism investment promotion and infrastructure.
Saying tourism industry was crucial to Kenya’s economy, Balala challenged all stakeholders to improve and refresh their products to become more competitive and attractive.
Kenya’s tourism sector must adapt and innovate, in line with global trends in order to attract more visitors, he added.
Balala said on Thursday during the 16th Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterer’s (KAHC) Annual Symposium at Whitesands Beach Hotel in Mombasa.
He asked all the players in the sector to get a copy of the blueprint and make their contribution on its implementation.
The players in the sector are upbeat following last year’s significant increase of foreign and domestic tourists, where the country earned a whopping Sh.120 billion, a 20.3 percent growth over the Sh.99.69 billion recorded in 2016.
Balala asked the players in the sector to support his ministry plans to upgrade tourist destination zones within Mombasa, which will see a 24 hour beach operations.
“As part of our efforts to spur growth in the sector, we intend to transform sleepy beach fronts into meaningful economic hubs,” added the CS.
Balala also announced that his Ministry will this year carry out skills audit at Utalii College to ensure the end products are compatible with market demands.
Saying the college produced over 13,000 students in the four years between 2013 to 2017, Balala said it was important to audit the college to ensure those graduating have the required skills that meets the current demands.
The CS was reacting to concerns by the hoteliers that the college was not producing skilled and qualified students to help expand the market.
The National Chairman of KAHC, Wasike Wasike lamented most of the hotels are forced to re-train students from the college in order to make them well suited in their respective fields.