NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya has realized about 37 million U.S.
dollars in revenue from the charter incentive program which was launched in
2016, a senior official announced on Wednesday.
Najib Balala, cabinet
secretary for tourism and wildlife, said that the program, which has been
extended to 2020, collected about 18 times in revenue to the tourism sector
after the government spent only 2 million dollars on the initiative since its
launch two years ago.
"The scheme is working.
"Moi International Airport located in the coastal city of Mombasa is now
receiving 15 charter flights per week, up from nine weekly last year.
"Since the launch of the program in 2016 to March this year, there have been
55,000 arrivals into Mombasa and the surrounding region," the Balala said in a
statement issued in Nairobi.
The official made the announcement after a charter flight by TUI from the
Netherlands landed at Moi International Airport with 120 visitors.
The charter flight will be flying to Mombasa twice a week, which translates
to about 360 visitors to the Kenyan coast every week.
The charter initiative program subsidizes tourist acquisition, rewards
charter airlines that make long capacity growth commitments to bring tourists
into the country, waivers landing fees for a period of two and a half years and
offers passenger subsidy of 30 dollars per seat filled by international
passengers who terminate or disembark in Kenya over the same period.
The arrival of the charter flight from the Netherlands came barely two weeks
after the launch of TUI Belgium charter flights into Mombasa last weekend.
The Netherlands is Kenya’s fourth largest source market from Europe with
22,108 visitors last year, denoting a growth of 34 percent since 2016 which
recorded about 16,400 arrivals.
European markets which include Britain, Germany and Italy contribute the
highest arrival numbers into Kenya and especially the Kenyan coast for the beach
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