Kenya Wildlife Service will increase park entry fees for Kenyans across the country from July this year while foreigners will continue paying same fees.
The changes taking effect on July 1 are contained in a special gazette notice signed by the Tourism secretary Najib Balala.
Park charges to Nakuru and Amboseli parks have been increased by 50 percent from Sh1,000 to Sh1,500 while entry fees to Nairobi Park have been increased 300 percent from Sh500 to Sh1,500 during peak seasons.
During off peak season, a visit to Nakuru, Amboseli and Nairobi will cost Kenyans Sh800.
Meru Park, Aberdare, Mt Kenya, Tsavo charges have jumped nearly threefold from Sh350 to Sh1,000 during peak season and Sh400 the rest of the time.
The new rates are expected to lift the revenues of KWS, the game parks custodian, and reduce its reliance on the Treasury whose support account for about a third of its income.
Foreign nationals will continue paying $70 (Sh7,412) in Nakuru and $60 (Sh6,365) in Meru Park, Aberdare, Mt Kenya, Tsavo.
Fees for Nairobi has slightly increased from $50 (Sh5,304) to $70.
Kenya has confirmed 158 cases of the coronavirus disease that has hit tourism sector with the borders closed and social distancing identified as a key control step.
Since tourism was hit by aftershocks of the post-election violence and travel advisories following terrorist attacks in Kenya around 2013- 2014, hospitality industry has promoted domestic tourism.
The targeted increase, however, comes at a bad time when the country has imposed limits on movements and overnight curfew to limit the spread of the virus.
They also come as the economy takes a battering, which means less disposable incomes that will further hurt tourism.
Tourism is among Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earners, bringing in Sh163.56 billion last year.