The Parliamentary Committee on Tourism, Sports and Culture wants the National Government to increase allocation of funds to the Ministry of tourism to promote the sector.
The Committee Chair Dr. Victor Munyaka said tourism Ministry last year got an allocation of sh. 4.5 billion despite the fact that it contributed to revenue of more than Sh. 120 billion.
Speaking during an i9nduction course for the Tourism, sports and culture committee which is new at the Dream of Africa resort in Malindi on Thursday Munyaka said once the ministry is well facilitated with betted funding it will bring in more revenue to the country.
Dr. Munyaka said they will lobby to ensure the funds are increase and ensure even the Kenya Airports Authority Unlocks more than Sh. 6 billion deducted from both domestic and International tourists.
Normally there is Sh. 100 deducted from every domestic ticket departure tax and 10 dollars for every international ticket which are supposed to be given to the Ministry for promotion purposes.
However the committee learnt from The Tourism Principal Secretary (PS) Fatuma Hersi Mohamed that the money was collected but legislation is not yet done.
Hersi also told the committee that the funds are supposed to be channeled to the Tourism transformation fund which is aimed at transforming the sector
“The Ministry has been under funded in the past , the committee will lobby for more funding to enable it promote tourism, the funds they receive is low compared to the revenue they bring,’’ he said.
During the induction that brought on board about 12 MPs and Chief Executive officers Tourism PS said there was also need to change the tourism act of 2011.
Already she said she had presented to the committee the Tourism blue print which was approved by the cabinet in October last year.
The PS said the structure, strategy, of the National tourism Blueprint was in line with the vision 2030 and the Big 4 agenda of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“The Tourism Blue print covers four areas including the product, investments., more tourism products such as entertainment facilities, sports , infrastructure strategy,’’ she said.
Hersi said the Ministry was keen in Marketing Kenya for tourism trade and investment.
She said parastatals were working very hard to market Kenya for tourism as well as trade.
The PS also took the MPS on a tour of Malindi airport to enable them see the challenges facing the sector.
“Malindi airport needs to be expanded so that we can get bigger airlines landing here and bringing in here more tourists to this town that used to be so vibrant once upon a time, we need to regain that vibrancy ,’’ she said.