The Kenyan tourist board has admitted that major challenges lie ahead if Kenya is to achieve its goals for tourism in coming years. The government must react to the challenges with radical changes to infrastructure and policies.
The major problems the Kenyan tourism industry is facing at the moment are that Kenyan tourism needs a general facelift and that its main selling points, the wildlife and natural scenery, have been subject to degradation in recent years. On a similar note, the country’s beaches have been subject to great neglect and this area of Kenyan tourism needs updating too. The government must also ease up on restrictions for foreign visitors and make visa requirements a lot easier to get over.
Unfortunately, the government of Kenya has not done much in recent years to appreciate and enhance the tourism industry. Tourism employs 220,000 people in a country where such opportunities are needed and brings in much welcomed revenue. It must now bring foreign investment and make incentives for foreign companies to do business in Kenya. Tax holidays and free land have been mooted as possible ways of encouraging such projects. If a multinational chain opens up a set of hotels around a Kenyan beach resort or near a safari destination then tourists from richer countries are certain to flock there. It is down to the Kenyans to make the incentive for the projects to begin.
As the situation stands at the moment, unpredictable regulations have been driving costs in an upward direction and discouraging foreign investment. The result is a lack of infrastructure and a degradation of the main Kenyan assets. In order for the tourism sector in Kenya to stop looking battered, new plans need to be made.