Tuesday, December 6, 2011

KWS to revamp beach tourism in Sh150m plan

By BOZO JENJE [email protected]

Kenya Wildlife Service has started a Sh150 million six-month project to revive Kenya’s coastal area as key tourist destination.

The beach management programme which is funded by the government will improve the quality of the beach along the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve.

Speaking to tourism investors at Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa KWS senior Warden Mr Arthur Tuda said that the project will address some of the emerging threats to beach tourism in Kenya which have weighed the industry down.

Tourist harassment

“These threats include tourist harassment, insecurity, beach degradation and youth unemployment,” Mr Tuda said.

Already 35 beach cleaners have been retained on contract for the period and a tractor to collect debris brought in.

According to Mr Tuda, the initiative is meant to boost the coastal tourism fortunes which have declined over the years despite steady recovery of overall national tourism.

Statistics from the Ministry of Tourism show that the tourism has grown by 18 per cent in revenues to Sh73.7 billion and 15 per cent on arrivals to 1.1 million tourists in 2010 compared to the previous year yet beach tourism declined by 16 per cent.

“In revamping the beach, steps have to be taken to restore the lost glory that has been associated with our pristine white sand beaches,” he said.

It also has beach patrols, daily beach clean-up and life guards.