Nakuru tourism operators seek waivers for industry revival

SUMMARY • Tourism operators in Nakuru are rooting for waiver of various levies, as the county government embarks on strategies to revitalise the sector, that is recovering from the adverse effects of Covid-19. • Tourism players want the county government to suspend the bed levy for 2021, give a concession for trade and liqour licensces among other waivers, to boost recovery of the sector.

Giraffes at the Lake Nakuru National Park. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Tourism operators in Nakuru are rooting for waiver of various levies, as the county government embarks on strategies to revitalise the sector, that is recovering from the adverse effects of Covid-19.

Tourism players want the county government to suspend the bed levy for 2021, give a concession for trade and liqour licensces among other waivers, to boost recovery of the sector.

“Waivers will greatly boost the recovery journey. Most of the hotels in the region have been experiencing very low occupancy, yet they paid last year’s bed levy in advance before Covid-19 struck. Bed Levy is Sh120 per room per month paid in advance at the beginning of the year,” David Mwangi,the county tourism association chairman told Business Daily.

“We are ready to engage the county government in a bid to resuscitate the sector.”

This comes as the county government plans an aggressive post-Covid-19 tourism marketing, to revive the ailing sector.

Tourism chief officer Kennedy Momanyi said the county government will accelerate recovery efforts through aggressive marketing and offering incentives to operators.

“To boost recovery of the crucial tourism sector, the county government seeks to provide waivers of some levies paid by operators. We will work towards injecting new life to the sector after it received a heavy beating from Covid-19,”stated Mr Momanyi.

To shore up tourism numbers, the county is banking on the planned World Rally championship that will be held in Naivasha, in June,to market the region.

The pandemic grounded the industry after local and international guests cancelled bookings.

In Nakuru hundreds of employees were sent home, a majority went on unpaid leave while the lucky ones were put on half pay.

Top hotels, tour and travel companies, as well as lodges and tourism destinations in the region have been shut in the past months due to the lack of visitors. However, to rejuvenate the sector,Nakuru has been encouraging domestic tourism to inject life into the tourism industry that is currently reeling under the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic.

County Executive member in charge of Tourism and Trade Raymond Komen asked residents to embrace domestic tourism to support the sector.

Source: Business Daily 

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