MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenya is banking on beach destination transformations
and marketing as a tourism package to improve tourism numbers at
the coastal region, a government official said on Thursday.
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and
Wild Life, said despite the increase in tourism arrivals, those
to the beach destination declined by more than 50 percent.
"Our plan is also to define the coast and make the beach
destination distinct," Balala told at a forum attended by
tourism stakeholders including hotel owners and government
officials in Mombasa.
He said Kenya’s tourism performance surpassed two million
international arrivals in 2018, with over 157 billion Kenyan
shillings (about 1.57 billion U.S. dollars) in tourism receipts,
contributing 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Balala said beach tourism revival is necessary because
visitors’ tastes have changed and have become more curious and
The day-long forum which sought solutions to enhance beach
experience and product development saw stakeholders resolved to
improve connectivity by upgrading local Diani and Lamu airstrips
into national airports and increasing road network.
Stakeholders are also banking of Kenya Tourist Police Unit to
improve police presence at the beaches to curb theft.
Mombasa is Kenya’s main coastal tourist destination which is
popular with white beaches, coral reef diving and rich cultural
Currently Mombasa is receiving nine chatter flights every
week, a sign that international tourists have confidence in the
coastal port city which had received travel advisories for
terror attacks targeting foreign tourists three years ago,
according to the tourism ministry.