The government has set aside Kshs 1.2billion Charter Incentive Programme (CIP) for Kenya aimed at recovering lost business from tourist charters.
Landing fees for all charter aircraft terminating at the Kenyan coast have been waived for a period of 30 months beginning from 1st January 2016 to 30th June 2018.
A passenger subsidy of USD 30 per seat filled with international passengers who terminate or disembark in Kenya will run concurrently.
Charter airlines will need to ensure that 80% of their passengers terminate in Malindi or Mombasa as well as commit to operate the Kenyan route for at least two consecutive years to qualify for the programme.
Announcing the incentives, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala disclosed that waiver of landing rates will stimulate demand for Kenya by new charters while encouraging charters already flying to Kenya to increase their route frequencies.
Passenger subsidy, explained Balala, will reward charter airlines that make long term capacity growth commitments to bring tourists to experience Kenya’s Beach product.
“The coastal region has borne the brunt of incidents of insecurity leading to dismal hotel bookings, travel cancellations and the laying off of workers in the aftermath of the dip in arrivals. The incentives are among a myriad of measures to put the tourism numbers on track,” said Balala.
“The move is aimed at increasing tourism numbers especially to the coastal region and these incentives will be monitored and reviewed every six months to suit prevailing market conditions,” he reiterated.
He pointed out that the number of charters to the coast reduced drastically, but expressed optimism that the improvements in security allowed for a secure visit to the region.
“As a government, we have done much to provide a conducive environment for our visitors. I am sure the incentives we have announced today will go a long way,” says the Cabinet secretary.