• The TSA helps in understanding the tourism sectors' contribution to the GDP and potential investment areas.
• The project is being led by the Tourism Research Institute(TRI).
The Tourism Ministry has commenced implementation of the Kenya Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), as it seeks to support investments, policy formulation and growth of the sector.
TSA is a United Nation-backed study of tourism's different sub-sectors and the their contribution to the economy.
The project is being led by the Tourism Research Institute(TRI), which is the agency the Tourism Act 2011 has mandated to spearhead and co-ordinate research and data management for the sector.
TRI is working with other stakeholders both in tourism, national government, counties and private sector in coming up with data and trends in the country.
“The government both at national and county level is relying very much on you for proper research information and accurate data to inform policy and planning for tourism development. The private sector also needs the same for proper business decisions and to ensure they improve on the experience of our tourists for destination Kenya to remain competitive,” CS Najib Balala said during the launch.
Narok Governor and Council of Governor’s Tourism and Wildlife Committee chairman Samuel Ole Tunai said:"It is very difficult for counties to commit budgets to the tourism sector but with the right data and information on its potential, it will be very easy to convince governors to invest in the sector.”
Meanwhile, Migori County Trade and Tourism Executive Sheila Gati has warned that Kenyan businesses at border towns, especially Isibania which borders Kenya to Tanzania, are loosing business to neighbouring countries which offer cheaper products especially in the food and beverage sector.
“Traders on the Kenyan side are closing businesses because people are crossing to the other side for instance entertainment spots where drinks are cheaper. We call on the government to support in coming up with measures that will make Kenyan products competitive,"said.
In a quick rejoinder, CS Balala called on both national and county government to stop harassing small businesses and instead come up with favourable policies to support growth.
He has singled out numerous business permits at county level as a major challenge to businesses.
The TSA which is set to be completed by June 2020 is expected to address data and information gaps in the sector, which have been blamed for poor investment and policy decisions.