Tourism database planned to boost revenue growth  27th Aug 2018

A tourism resources database is being developed to inform future private and public sector investments to boost arrivals and higher revenue growth.

It’s proponent, Tourism Research Institute (TRI) said it is focusing to grow tourist arrival numbers from 1.3 million to 2.5 million with revenues rising from the current Sh99 billion to Sh175 billion in the next five years.

Acting TRI chief executive David Gitonga said the findings will be uploaded on a public portal where hospitality investors as well as tourism product developers will find ready data on available opportunities across Kenya.

“Proper data management will inform evidence-based development where the government injects funds in projects that help diversify tourism products. We want to see national and county governments collaborate in developing tourism products that sell,” he said.

The one day workshop last week welcomed development of the five year strategy starting 2018 to 2023 to guide tourism research, saying local and foreign investors will have a one-stop-shop for all information on tourism products and resources, thereby helping create a level-playing field.

Nyeri County Government Tourism Director Mary Kimamo said the database will help individual counties tap into the multibillion shilling industry by directing their resources towards specific projects.

“We are developing a tourism portfolio book to guide tourism investments in Nyeri County where we have shrines, historic sites such as the Lord Baden Powell Memoriam, national parks as well as the Mau Mau Caves. We also developing a documentary to lure investors to specific projects that we shall package on a public-private partnership arrangement,” she said.

TRI director Masibo Lumala said the research document will ensure all public decisions on expenditure at the national and county government levels will be based on evidence giving tourism a major boost that has a ripple effect on other key sectors.

“One investment that open a tourism attraction creates jobs across various sectors from transport, hospitality, security, entertainment to food businesses. Our strategy is to include everyone in decision-making towards development of the tourism document,” he said.

The panel discussion heard that universities among other tertiary tourism institutions will also enjoy access to the document with their project papers publicised for public good.

Speakers, however, lamented that most hospitality chains concealed numbers of tourists visiting their facilities, thereby denying the taxman of the requisite revenue.


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