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KWS chops park entrance fee in bid to lure local, foreign visitors

Thursday July 02 2020
PARK

Two lionesses at Nairobi National Park in Nairobi on June 21, 2020. PHOTO | SIMON MAINA | AFP

By BONFACE OTIENO

 The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has reviewed its park entry fee downwards for both Kenyans and international visitors. The move is aimed at resuscitating the tourism sector, which has been badly hit by travel restrictions both local and international.

A schedule of fees shows the highest entry amount will be at the Nakuru and Amboseli National Parks, which are classified as premium facilities given their popularity.

Kenyan citizens and non-residents will pay Sh800, down from Sh860, while non-resident adults will pay $35, up from $60 at the two parks.

The second tier facilities, which are classified as wilderness parks, attract varying charges.

At Nairobi National Park, which is frequented by visitors within the city, adult Kenyan citizens and residents will pay Sh400, down from Sh430.

NON-RESIDENTS

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Non-residents will part with $35 from $43 to visit the city national park.

At Tsavo East and Tsavo West, adult citizens will pay Sh500, down from Sh515. Non-residents will pay $30 from $52.

The new charges, effective from July 1, 2020 for a period of one year, are pegged on a drop in conservation charges as gazetted last year.

The gazetted conservation fee was to take effect on Wednesday this week.

“We want to encourage Kenyans to enter the parks for longer durations. The longer they stay, the more business they give to the tour guides, hotels, lodges as well as the curio dealers,” said Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala while making the announcement yesterday in Nairobi.

 “We have also given a one-year moratorium to lodge owners in its parks and reserves, for rent payment starting July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. We have also announced a 50 per cent discount on filming fees for both local and international producers filming in parks and reserves,” said Mr Balala.

TOURISM

Kenya’s tourism earnings grew 3.9 per cent to Sh163.6 billion as arrivals defied terror threats and global geopolitics to remain above the two-million mark last year.

The earnings improved from the Sh157.4 billion in 2018 but represented a slower growth compared to the previous year.

In 2018, earnings increased by 37.33 per cent as international tourist arrivals crossed the two-million mark for the first time in the country’s history.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2020 show there were 2,035,400 foreign visitors compared with 2,027,700 international arrivals in 2018.

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