The tourism sector is seeking up toSh30 billion funding in the next three years to develop infrastructure and tourism facilities in a bid to sustain and grow the revenues. It has proposed to have its budget allocation boosted in order to engage in products development to enhance its global competitiveness. In this year’s budget, the tourism sector says it needs over Sh9 billion in development expenditure allocation up from the Sh1.2 allocated last year.
Among the developments planned include development of three proposed Resort cities and refurbishment of other Kenya Tourist Development Corporation facilities. In the Medium Term Expenditure Framework presented this week, about Sh3.13 billion will go to the resorts development and other county facilities through KTDC.
Feasibility studies of the three resort cities in Isiolo, Diani and Kilifi have been done and the master plans and designs are currently being developed. About Sh2 billion has also been set for the standardization and classification process that has stalled for some time now. The Ministry of Tourism recently announced it has so far classified 68 hotels and is targeting 90 more by the June.
In the last two years, most of the efforts have been directed towards marketing activities. About Sh3billion is being proposed for international marketing activities in the next financial year. Other projects include construction of beach operator’s stalls and markets construction along the coastline and development of resort cities business advisory services.
Tourism is the second highest foreign exchange earner. As per recent industry performance results, the industry netted Sh81 billion in the first nine months of 2011, a 16per cent growth compared to the same period in 2010. It is also a major generator of employment, contributing about 10 per cent of the GDP and providing a market for goods produced in other sectors. In the last year about sh700 million has been disbursed as Tourism Infrastructure Loans for private players.