Kenya has reduced wildlife park entry fees by 50 percent in efforts to stimulate recovery of the safari tourism reeling from losses induced by the Covid-19 shock.
Tourism minister Najib Balala made the announcement on Thursday, which includes a one-year moratorium on rent payment for all lodges in parks and reserves owned by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), aimed at freeing up cash for hoteliers.
“We have reduced entry fees to all game parks and reserves to 50 percent. This will apply to all categories of tourists (local, residents and international) effective from July 1, 2020 to July 2021,” said Balala.
Filmmakers have also been handed a 50 percent cut in fees charged by KWS when filming documentaries in the parks. This move aims to boost production of more motion pictures to profile Kenya as a magical destination.
All the above stimulus measures will be in place for a period of one year. Tourism is one of Kenya’s main foreign exchange earners, employing thousands of people, most of whom have been rendered jobless following massive shutdowns of facilities.
The moratorium of one year free rent is, therefore, expected to help industry players bounce back.
Kenya’s tourism earnings stood at Sh163.6 billion ($1.63 billion) last year, having attracted two million foreign visitors.
“We want to encourage all the film makers to come and start doing small documentaries so that when tourists come back, the destination Kenya will be profiled beautifully,” said Balala.