The tourism sector has witnessed a substantial increase in revenue, reaching Sh333.9 million in the past 16 months, according to government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura. The boost is particularly noteworthy as it marks an 80% rise from the Sh268 million recorded when the current administration, Kenya Kwanza, assumed power. Mwaura attributed this growth to comprehensive marketing efforts and outlined the achievements of various ministries under the ongoing “Government of Kenya Roadshow 2024.”

The audit, part of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), encompasses 22 ministries, 54 state departments, and approximately 350 state agencies. As of now, six ministries have undergone review, with the process set to inform the upcoming second Cabinet retreat later this month.

Mwaura highlighted key achievements in the tourism sector, including a notable increase in tourism arrivals from 1.5 million in 2022 to 1.76 million in 2023, reflecting an 18.4% surge. Factors contributing to this growth include enhanced marketing strategies and the easing of travel restrictions globally. Additionally, visitors’ average stay has extended from 10 to 11 days, and hotel spending has risen by three percent in bed occupancy.

Campaigns such as “Zuru Kenya Parks,” “Enjoy Mali Yako,” and joint marketing efforts have contributed to a 35% increase in the number of visitors to national parks, reaching 2.94 million clients. The refurbishment of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has also proven successful, attracting 14,090 international delegates in 2023, up from 550 in 2022.

Sustainable investments in parks launched in 2023 aim to increase bed nights from 1,831 to 4,062. The digitization of park entry services through the e-citizen platform has accounted for 90% of the Ministry of Tourism’s Appropriation in Aid (AIA) collection. Grants to tourism programs and projects have seen an increase to Sh2.2 million in 2023 compared to Sh1.3 million in 2022.

Under the State Law Office, Mwaura highlighted the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to settle small claims, amounting to Sh15 million, benefitting vulnerable members of society. The Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs has focused on value addition, completing five sites for gold, gemstone, and other minerals. Plans for fluorspar and granite factories are underway, with 869 youth recruited for employment in foreign ships.

Additionally, Sh1.5 billion grants were distributed to 621 Common Interest Groups within the blue economy, supporting businesses and transforming 50 Beach Management Units into cooperative societies. The government’s initiatives also include training 875 fishermen in deep-sea fishing and educating 565 seaweed farmers in mariculture in Kwale county.

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