Kenya counts tourism as the second-biggest foreign-exchange earner after tea. The country is Africa’s original safari destination, attracting explorers, adventurers and travelers for centuries. Though 2012 tourism earnings declined on security concerns, the country is still targeting 3 million holiday makers by 2015. Earnings declined by 2 percent in 2012 to 96.02 billion shillings from 97 billion shillings in 2011, while arrivals were little changed at 1.78 million. Security is more stable now so the sector should be back on its way to achieving 3 million tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism is now under Ministry of Environment, Water & Natural resources. It is responsible for the formulation, co-ordination and administration of policy in respect to the tourism sector. Its mission is to facilitate sustainable tourism for national development and posterity.
The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) was formed on February 7th 1997 when the Government recognized the necessity to create an independent marketing authority for the tourism sector. The prime objective of the KTB is to market Kenya as a tourist destination both locally and internationally.
Catering and Tourist Development Levy Trustees (CTDLT)
Most Tourism Businesses in Kenya pay a Catering and Tourism Development Levy. These funds are utilized by CTDL, which is charged with the mandate of developing the Kenyan tourism industry through sponsorship of marketing through Kenya Tourist Board, training through Kenya Utaali College and development of standards.
Utalii College is a recognized centre of excellence for Tourism Training, offering a wide range of training and courses in all areas of tourism, including safari guiding, hotel management, catering and hospitality. The College earned recognition by the World Tourism Organisation as one of the world’s 16 Centres of Professional Excellence. The East African Community has also designated Kenya Utalii College as one of its three Centres of Excellence in tourism training.
KTDC was established on November 1965 and started operations in 1966. It is responsible for development and indigenisation of tourism facilities through; direct investment in tourism, improvement and/or expansion of new or existing tourist facilities and indigenisation of ownership of tourism facilities in the industry.
The Kenyatta International Conference Centre is located in the heart of Nairobi and within a walking distance of several five star hotels. This makes KICC the perfect venue for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and special events. KICC has hosted many successful international conferences and seminars such as the IPU – Inter Parliamentary Union among others.
Bomas of Kenya is a tourist village and conference centre in Langata, Nairobi. Bomas (homesteads) displays traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes.
It was established by the government in 1971 as a subsidiary company of Kenya Tourist Development Corporation as a tourist attraction. It also wanted to preserve, maintain and promote rich and diverse cultural values of various tribal groups of Kenya.
The complex also contains the biggest theatre in Africa with 3,500 seats. There are traditional dances from a variety of tribes performed at the venue on daily basis. The venue can also be utilized as a conference facility.
The information under the sector is organized as follows;