Tourism in Kenya recently took a new turn as two luxury international hotels open doors in Nairobi adding great value in the list of high end properties for business and leisure visitors to the city. The official opening of Park Inn in Westlands has a bed capacity of 140 and is managed by Radisson Hotel group while Lazizi Premier at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, JKIA with a luxurious bed capacity of 144 is the first one of a kind at the airport.
The two investments from the private sector are expected to magically contribute to tourism growth in the country and also to provide jobs for the Kenyan youth with relevant skills and training in the hospitality sector. The massive investment in the industry is a clear demonstration that the present and future of tourism in Kenya is bright and promising moving towards full recovery, after depressed years.
The recently introduced policy reforms have attracted investment, competition and repositioning of Kenya’s tourism sector. Some of the reform measures already in place include VAT exemption for park fees, VAT exemption for Commission of the tour operators and reduction in park fees from $90 to $60.
Also newly introduced are Charter Incentive Programme and Air Passengers subsidy [$30 rebates per passenger], Tourism Recovery Fund with budget allocation of Sh5 billion in the past three years alongside the establishment of a tourism promotion fund among others.
The government functionaries have been challenged to facilitate the private sector by providing the necessary basic infrastructure in terms of roads, water and electricity to attract more investors.