A team from the world’s leading tourism group, Tourism Union International (TUI), is in the country to discuss business ventures.
TUI has expressed interest in a joint venture in the hotels business with Alpha Rangers Pollmans.
TUI’s discussions with Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala focused on how the group can increase the number of charter flights to the coast.
TUI officials, led by chief executive Fritz Joussen, are in the country on a fact finding mission on opportunities in the hospitality industry.
Mr Joussen met Mr Balala at the Baobab Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County. “Taki and Zahir Moledina, owners of Alpha Rangers Pollmans and partners with TUI, are part of the delegation,” said Tourism ministry Director of Public Communication Mulei Muia.
Last October TUI Netherlands and TUI Belgium started operating direct flights to Mombasa, five years after suspending operations due to insecurity in the coastal region. Kenya Tourism Board statistics shows that Moi International Airport receives 15 charter flights a week up from nine last year.
According to its website, TUI boast of 1,600 travel agencies, six airlines with around 150 aircraft, over 380 hotels and 16 cruise liners in major holiday destinations around the world.
TUI’s integrated offerings provide its 27 million customers with an unmatched holiday experience in 180 regions. The TUI delegation visit comes at a time when Kenya is setting up infrastructure projects meant to revamp tourism.
Mr Balala said his ministry plans to set up waterfront facilities in Mombasa, Kilifi, Nakuru and Kisumu counties.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a Sh460 million waterfront project at the historical Mama Ngina Drive in Mombasa. It will be completed in May.
The project is expected to help make Mombasa a leading and competitive world class tourism destination.
Tourism earnings grew 31.2 per cent in 2018 to Sh157 billion, up from Sh119 billion the previous year.