Kenya targets three million tourists

The Kenya government aims at attracting three million tourists by 2017, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Phyllis Kandie says.
Kenya's unmatched tourism attractions have the potential to make it the number one destination in Africa, she says.

Tourist arrivals in 2012 were about 1.7 million, according to the ministry. Kenya's economic blue print had previously set a target of three million tourists by 2015.
"We are striving to surpass the three million targets by 2017," Kandie said during a ceremony hosted by the Kenya Tourism Federation to receive and familiarize her with the sector.
   The cabinet secretary said Kenya will also set up a tourism market recovery programme to help the country recover its lost market share.
   Kandie said there was an urgent need to improve and upgrade the existing infrastructure on the tourism routes "This should go in tandem with upgrading and expansion of capacity of hotels, resort and conference centers," she said.   "We will also form and commission a Tourism Crisis Response Committee that will handle emergencies that slow down the growth of the sector," she said. 
Kandie pledged to work with other cabinet colleagues in other line ministries to improve wildlife management and, in particular, confront poaching more decisively.
    Her ministry, she said, will speed up the implementation of the Tourism Bill 2011.
   Kandie, who is also in charge of the East African Community Affairs, promised to push for the adoption of a single EAC visa.
   "A single visa will enable the five partner states to market the economic bloc as a single destination," she said.
   Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said National Tourism Strategy is currently being formulated. "The strategy will be presented to Parliament in the next few months for approval," Ndegwa said.
   He said the policy will help improve Kenya's beach product so as to eliminate factors that negatively affect thriving tourism industry. (Xinhua)