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 Press Room

KTF 2014 Highlights
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 1 Jan 15

2014 has been a challenging year for the tourism sector, evidenced by the 14.6 percent decline in the sector's performance in the 3rd quarter of the year, up from a 3.9 percent decline during a similar period in 2013; according to statistics released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Under the umbrella KTF, the industry came together to mitigate the situation by addressing the underlying issues and to push for government support to put tourism on the recovery path. Focus areas included:

Advisories against non essential travel to parts of the country affected by security incidents:
 
KTF, also represented in the Tourism Recovery Taskforce through the Chairperson Lucy Karume, has engaged lengthily with officials of the foreign missions in Kenya, particularly those from our source markets and government officials; and pushed for meaningful engagement between the government and the envoys and redress on the underlying security issues so as to bring about the review/lifting of the negative travel advisories.
 
These efforts have been fruitful as the UK, German and France governments have respectively softened/removed advisories against non essential travel to some parts of the country. This is not only a boost to the destination perception, but also resolves the issue of lack of travel insurance from the source markets which is rendered invalid where a negative travel advisory is in force.
 
VAT on tourism services:
Introduced last year, VAT on tourism services has pushed up costs across the tourism value chain and therefore to the tourists; putting the destination at a competitive disadvantage in the region. Sustained lobbying for waiver of VAT on tourism services continues, with request for the same tabled before relevant government authorities including the President and Treasury CS Henry Rotich; urging for the waiver as an incentive to get tourism on the recovery path and ultimately increase earnings from tourism.
 
Government Support:
Tourism Stimulus Package: - responding to calls by the industry for support to tourism, the President announced a raft of measures including revocation of the circular that prohibited government agencies from holding meetings in privately owned Hotels; tax deduction for employers to pay for employees to holiday in Kenya; reduced premium parks entry fees to $80 for international visitors and Sh1000 for domestic visitors; and 40% and 10% reduction in landing fees at Malindi and Mombasa airports for international and local flights respectively in a bid to increase arrivals to the Coast.
 
Why I Love Kenya Campaign: - Spearheaded by a partnership of KTB and the industry, the campaign advances through online media the beautiful stories about Kenya so as to create a positive image of the destination. Participation is open - simply post content such as images, videos, reviews and blog posts about your beautiful experience in Kenya online with the hashtag #WhyILoveKenya. Follow the campaign on Facebook and on Twitter at @WhyILoveKenya; and via the e-newsletter of the same title.
 
The Tourism Recovery Taskforce chaired by KTF chairperson Lucy Karume, is working towards engaging with noted travel bloggers and media personalities to leverage their influence to advance this campaign. 

Tourism Regulation:
Following the enactment of the Tourism Act 2011, KTF pushed for the expedite operationalization of Tourism Regulatory Authority, which was consequently operationalized in June. Consequently, KTF has presented to TRA proposals for additional regulations to address existing gaps in tourism regulation, as a result of which rogue operators (not bound by any code of ethics and conduct enforced by the respective trade associations) continue to defraud clients and tarnish the image of the destination and the industry. 
 
Recognizing the gaps in tourism data and statistics collation, KTF initiated a proposal for World Bank assistance to develop a national tourism product and trade directory to accurately establish the size of the tourism industry and its contribution to the national economy; and a Tourism Satellite Account System to capture data such as tourist arrivals by purpose and bed nights. Project approval was granted with department of Tourism chairing the project technical committee, with the industry represented by KTF. Other members of the committee are Tourism Fund and Kenya Tourism Board. 
 
When completed, the directory, which will list duly licensed tourism operators ordered by membership to the respective trade associations, will be hosted on the Magical Kenya website and will provide a one stop reference point for visitors and businesses.
 
Representation of Kenya tourism sector in the EAC Integration Process:
KTF continues to represent the interests of the Kenya tourism sector in the transition into the East African Community.  
 
Single Tourist Visa: launched in February by the Presidents of the three partner states - Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, the STV increases the region’s competitiveness with superior multi-country packages and at a fee of US$100 with validity of 90 days, maximizes value for tourists. With support from TMEA, KTF has embarked on an awareness campaign targeting the industry and the media with the goal of maximizing on the opportunities presented by the STV.
 
As part of this campaign, KTF has facilitated business to business engagement between members of the trade in Kenya and Rwanda during the 10th Kwita Izina celebrations held in Rwanda in July; and between the trade in Kenya and Uganda during the 39th ATA & Jaguza Expo held in Kampala in November; as well as media training on the STV held in Nairobi in December.
 
Tourism Network:
The Tourism Network brings together the regional tourism organizations to create synergy among them and for effective lobbying on tourism issues within the devolved system of government. The network covers the entire country by regions, i.e. Nyanza & Western, Central & North Rift, South & Lower Rift, Mt. Kenya, Laikipia & Northern circuit Coast and Nairobi. Following the regional forums, the national forum held on 9th October in Nairobi identified cross-cutting issues, with 26 County Executives in charge of Tourism present, to be championed by the TN through structured engagement between industry operators, County officials and respective government agencies. These issues include:
1. VAT Bill
2. Implementation of the Tourism Act 
3. County Finance Bills
4. National Tourism Strategic Plan
5. NEMA related issues

Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE):
Organized by KTB with assistance from the tourism trade, MKTE was held on 8 -10th October at KICC, bringing together 150 hosted buyers, exhibitors, invited guests, local and international visitors who exchanged contacts, transacted business and learnt more about Kenya’s tourism offering. Trade journalists from around the world also took part in familiarization trips across the country.
 
The success of these activities was made possible by the generous contribution of the industry who provided accommodation and logistics for all journalists and guests on complimentary basis. The industry also assisted in the logistics planning for the Expo. 
 
Security:
KTF-Safety Communication Centre 
KTF-SCC is operational 24/7, monitoring the security situation in the tourism circuits and disseminates security alerts and advice to tourism operators via text, telephone, email, twitter and HF Radio, in line with reports received. 
Through established linkages with the relevant institutions e.g. Tourist Police Unit, the Department of Tourism, Kenya Wildlife Service and air ambulance service providers, KTF-SCC mobilizes emergency assistance to industry operators whenever necessary; and maintains records of all tourism related incidents.
 
KTF consistently provides accurate updates to the industry and our source markets on the status of security in the country in relation to tourism, to clear up any misperceptions arising from any misleading reports in the media. KTF SCC responds to inquiries from intending visitors to the country e.g. requirements for entry into the country, the weather, status of roads and to verify tourism service operators they wish to contract in terms of compliance with industry regulation and ethics.
 
Industry Communication:
3rd Edition of the Kenya Travel Guide & Manual
KTF in partnership with KTB and KWS have presented the 3rd edition of the Kenya Travel Guide & Manual, a comprehensive guidebook to the tourism product in the country covering distances, access, contact persons, activities and best time to visit. This guidebook is available online at http://issuu.com/landmarine/docs/kenya-travel-guide?e=1056874/8555286
 
Tourism Related News Dissemination:
Through its industry Newsletter, the KTF Brief, KTF keeps the industry informed of relevant internal and external news developments as well as maintains a library of the same.
 
Through its Twitter and Facebook accounts, KTF provides the industry with a newsfeed of tourism related media reports and articles shortly after the same is published. 
 
Stakeholder forums on Topical Issues: 
Beginning May 2014, KTF has held a number of stakeholder fora to cultivate industry input towards resolving the issues behind the current downturn in tourism and support calls to government to make tangible commitments towards the same. As a result, the industry has embarked on various activities, e.g. marketing - through the WhyILoveKenya campaign; engagement with travel insurance providers to provide cover for foreign visitors from place of departure & throughout their stay in Kenya, to address the resulting gap where travel advisories are in force thereby rendering insurance from the respective countries invalid.

Other General News Highlights
»13 Nov 17Press Release on Current Disease Outbreaks Outside Kenya by the Director of Medical Services
»2 Aug 17Mohammed Hersi Elected New Chairman of KTF at 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
»24 May 17Tourism & Hospitality Skills Development
»26 Apr 17Kenya's New Convention Bureau Set To Launch By Mid Year
»26 Apr 17Kenya Tourism Portal Nears Completion
»10 Mar 17KENYA AT INTERNATIONAL TOURISM BOURSE (ITB)
»8 Mar 17Join in KTB’s Latest East Africa (EA) Regional Tourism Campaign
»3 Mar 17Safety and Security Tips While traveling in Kenya
»28 Feb 17East Africa Tourism Portal Goes Live
»18 Jan 17Phase II of KTF's Tourism Economic Research Approved
»18 Jan 17ASTA Destination Expo 2017, Nairobi, Feb 24-26
»22 Nov 16Register and Participate Alongside Kenya Tourism Board at the Annual Diplomatic Bazaar - Addis Ababa, 10th December
»12 Oct 16Announcing the Shortlist for Kenya Eco Warrior Awards
»15 Sep 16New Consumer Ad Campaign by KTB this October
»17 Aug 16Budding MICE Industry a Catalyst for Tourism
»12 Aug 16KTF Chairperson Meets with Official of US Embassy
»12 Aug 16Proposed Multi-Stakeholders Collaboration in the Greater Tsavo Conservation Area
»12 Aug 16Strengthening KTF Institutional Capacity
»4 Jul 16Branding Partnership with Kenya Airways to Raise Magical Kenya Brand Visibility
»20 Jun 16Over 35 Countries to Attend Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2016
»13 Jun 16The Ministerial Roundtable on Tourism, 14th April
»25 Apr 165th Double Win for Kenya at London Marathon
»25 Apr 16Tourism Stakeholders Safety & Security Training
»12 Apr 16Kenya’s Green Destinations Guidelines Pilot Nears Completion
»12 Apr 16Concern over Deaths of Lions Straying Outside the Nairobi National Park
»15 Feb 16A Skating Adventure for Nature Lovers:
»15 Feb 16Great Lakes Private Sector Forum
»12 Jan 16Multiple Nods for Kenya as One of the Best Destinations for 2016:
»12 Jan 16Events Calendar
»12 Jan 16Overview of arrivals data released by KTB for the period January - November 2015:
»4 Sep 15UNWTO Demonstrates Confidence in Kenya, and in Particular, Mombasa, as a Safe Tourist Destination
»20 Aug 15'Why I Love Kenya' Campaign Update
»18 Apr 15The New Terminal 2 Increases JKIA Passenger Capacity by 2.5 million Annually
»18 Apr 15KTB in Global Advertising Campaign to Woo Back Tourists
»18 Mar 15KTF & Utalii College Sign Agreement to Provide Tourism Security Training
»17 Mar 15UK High Commissioner Dr. Turner Visits the KTF Stand at the Inaugural Africa Travel Show
»25 Feb 15Kenya Wild Fest 2015
»31 Jan 15KTF Seeks Private Sector Common Position on Laikipia County Tourism Bill
»10 Dec 14KTF to Host Media Training on the Single Tourist Visa
»1 Dec 14REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO CONDUCT BASELINE SURVEY ON AWARENESS OF THE SINGLE TOURIST VISA AND USE OF NATIONAL ID FOR CROSS BORDER TRAVEL.
»5 Nov 14KTF Providing Logistics for Tourism Trade Members to Attend 39th ATA Congress & Jaguza International Tourism Expo
»30 Sep 14KTF Urges Closer Working Ties Between Tourism Industry and the Foreign Missions
»30 Sep 14World tourism day/Kenya Tourism Week
»30 Sep 14Tourism Fund Brand Officially Launched
»30 Sep 14Instant Fines Announced by Narok County Government to Deter Users from Violating MMNR Regulations
»27 Aug 14Invitation to participate at the Kenya Stand at World Travel Market,3–6th November 2014
»27 Aug 14George Adamson’s indomitable lion spirit lives, 25 years later
»4 Aug 14Ecotourism Kenya Welcomes New Members, New Facilities Earn Gold Eco Certification
»4 Aug 14Industry Pushes for Tourism Recovery
»30 Jun 14Tourism Regulatory Authority Constituted and Operational
»30 Jun 14Tourism Recovery Facing Many Hurdles
»30 Jun 14Kenya Hosts 1st United Nations Environment Assembly at Gigiri, Nairobi,23rd-27th June
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