PUBLISHED ON March 9th, 2015

Kenya and Tanzania tourism ministers to meet over impasse

Cabinet secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Phylis Kandie will meet Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu to sort out the outstanding issue of cross-border tourism operations.

The two will meet on March 20 in Arusha, Tanzania, with a view to resolve the standoff after Kenya banned Tanzanian tour vans from accessing national parks in the country and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The ban was effected on February 6, leaving Tanzanian tour agents with the option of hiring Kenyan taxis to collect guests destined for Tanzania by road from JKIA or to drop them off.

Tanzania had asked for a three-week window in January to negotiate with Kenya over the issue but did not live up to its request, occasioning the the ban.

Kandie announced the decision to meet Nyalandu on Saturday while in Berlin, Germany, for a tourism conference.

The Kenya Tourism Board announced at the conference dubbed 2015 International Tourism Bourse that it will spend Sh140 million on global campaigns to boost recovery of the tourism industry.

KTB has also allocated Sh15 million to promote charter flights to improve foreign visitor traffic into Kenya. The agency will target Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, United Kingdom and Czech Republic in the promotions.

Managing director Muriithi Ndegwa said Kenya’s coastal region has been badly hit by a decrease in tourist numbers, with scores of charter airlines withdrawing from the Mombasa route due to fears of terror attacks.

Ndegwa said the campaigns, to begin next month, will showcase diversity of Kenya’s offerings as a tourist destination.

Source: the Star

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