Tourism players have praised the government’s move to extend the Charter Incentive Programme (CIP) to 2020, saying that it will ensure the country continues to benefit from international tourists.
“This, along with infrastructural changes to the Coast region will further encourage charter tourism and arrivals into the country. We can hope to see the tourism revenues for the country regain their former glory as was seen in 2005/2006 as well as 2012,” said Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa Managing Director Bobby Kamani
Mr. Kimani added that the industry hoped the extension could even go beyond 2020 depending on how well the CIP will be received in reality.
The extension of the CIP, which was initiated in 2016 and ended in June this year, was revealed by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during an interview.
“We have all seen in a short time what it has done to attract many international charter airlines to the Mombasa route,’’ said the CS.
The programme was initiated to support the recovery of international tourism to the Coast of Kenya through increased tourist charter flights from the traditional market in Europe.
In the deal, the charter flight was expected to land at either Moi International Airport, or at terminate at the Malindi Airport. Either way, the charter aircraft was to have 80 percent of the passengers at one of the two airports.
In return, the government offered a $30 subsidy on each passenger seat as well as a landing fee waiver. The programme indeed paid off after reviving the tourism industry that had previously been ailing.
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