advertisement

Economy

Balala sees Kenya's tourism recovering in 2018

Tourism minister Najib Balala. PHOTO | FILE
Tourism minister Najib Balala. PHOTO | FILE 

Kenya's tourism sector will take another two years to recover after the government beefed up security and boosted funding for the sector, a key source of hard currency revenues, new tourism minister Najib Balala told Reuters.

Visitor numbers and earnings have plunged in the last four years as al Shabaab militants from neighbouring Somalia launched a series of attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

That has hit the shilling currency, which fell 11 percent against the dollar last year after a 4.5 percent decline in 2014, and dragged on growth in the Kenyan economy, East Africa's largest.

Balala, who took over the tourism ministry last month, said the fact there had been no serious attack in the last eight months showed security had improved as a result of investments in equipment, vehicles and security personnel.

advertisement