Stakeholders call for increased spending to sustain tourism growth

Written By: Fiona Churu
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Tourism stakeholders in Kilifi County are calling for increased spending in infrastructure to sustain the growing numbers of tourists.

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Hoteliers in the county have so far recorded 80 per cent bookings prompted by improved security as high season begins.

Last year the number of Italian tourists who visited North Coast was 65,000 after years of decline in numbers due to an economic slowdown in Italy and insecurity related cases on the Kenyan coast.

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Maureen Awuor the Chairperson of Kenya Hotel Keepers and Caterers Association North Coast together with other key tourism stakeholders say most hotels are now 80% full.

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Arrivals from Italy to Kilifi County’s Malindi and Watamu are expected to hit 80,000 this year and could reach 100,000 next year, a number that was last reached in 2005.

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Cozy Point Proprietor Sabina Vivaldi says they are happy the season had picked well and foreign tourists are flocking in after a year of a slump.

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Pasquale Tirito the chairman of Jacaranda Beach which has three resorts near Watamu said the season has picked well however, he said challenges facing the sector are two namely the delayed expansion of Malindi Airport and bad roads such as the road linking Casuarina and Watamu

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