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State to procure tourist police vehicles, beach cleaning trucks

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has announced plans to buy tourist police vehicles and beach cleaning trucks to attract more tourists to the Coastal region.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said the monies in the Tourism Fund will be used to invest in the sector.

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He spoke in Malindi during a public participation exercise aimed at coming up with tourism recovery strategies which brought together stakeholders from Kilifi County.

Among the key issues the tourism wanted to implement quickly included the expansion of the Malindi International Airport, infrastructure development, security improvement, cleaning of beaches, and lighting system, among others.

The CS gave the stakeholders a chance to contribute to the key issues they want to be implemented by the Government which would then be outlined and a report done as early as next week so as the process of allocating funds is done.

In his address after listening to the proposals Mutua said he had noted the concerns of expanding the Malindi International Airport, coming up with a masterplan for tourism promotion and coming up with a second port in Takaungu Kilifi County so as to attract cruise ships.

“I will go and Visit that Takaungu and see how far it is from here because we can get ships docking from there and also looking at the airport we have plans for this airport people have talked about it for so long I do not want to talk about it until I know for sure because if I talk it will be done,” he said.

On Marketing he said his Ministry was going round all the 47 counties to map up new tourism circuits after when they would come up with a new kind of marketing.

He said they will embark on a more aggressive strategy for tourism targeting the African continent as there was a huge potential than the foreign market with prospects showing more money was being made in that market already.

The CS said there was need to come up with a strategy to develop Mambrui dunes so as to attract tourists who append a lot of money to travel to Dubai.

Philemon Mwavalla an investor in the Coastal region based in Malindi said it was time to provide a second alternative international airport in Malindi.

Currently he said there was only Moi International Airport in Mombasa and incase of anything the whole Coastal region will stand still from Diani, Mombasa, Kilifi Malindi and Watamu.

“Its important for us at have an alternate airport so that we can so that we can plan for the future,” said Mwavala.

Effue Opiyo from the Progress Welfare Association of Malindi raised concern on the environmental issues saying there was a serious problem in Malindi which was affecting even the tourism industry.

“The problem is how our wastes are not properly managed and how we do not have a proper structure for that,” he said.

Justin Kitsaio called on the CS to ensure there are toilets built in the beaches as currently tourists were relieving themselves in the bushes while on the beach.

Further he said there was a nuclear energy project that was being prospected in Uyombo Kilifi county which they are opposed to and called on the CS to intervene. As they did not want it.

“If you want to promote us as tourism ministry organize your tourism conferences or any other meetings that you want to do in Nairobi or anywhere in Naivasha bring those conferences to Watamu or Malindi or in Kilifi County,” he said.

Clara Chonga the CEC member for Tourism in Kilifi County said they are happy stakeholders want a landmark for Malinndi and the second port in Takaungu for cruise ship to dock.

“As we wait for the bigger ships, we need yatches to come and transfer tourists to different Islands and tourism areas,” she said.

On marketing she said the county launched the Kenya Riviera Kilifi which is doing well and is aimed at identify Kilifi as a unique destination as opposed to the General marketing the Coastal region as a block. Currently she said they are mapping out new tourism circuits which are aimed at promoting the destination further.

Kene Kiplagat from Gedeng Camp within the Sabaki estuary said they were happy that the tourism fund was in the process of funding projects to help revive the tourism sector.

On Sabaki estuary he said they are happy that the government is willing to invest in by putting small structures to promote tourism to the world as community are set to benefit.

“We are happy that the CS has come with his policy that we know him a Chap Chap man and we are happy that he can come up with a Chap Chap solution to all these problems that we have,” he said.

Dickson Wekesa
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