Nairobi — Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninanah Malonza has alluded that the country has suffered losses running into billions in the sector due to the ongoing Azimio La Umoja demonstrations.
Appearing before the floor of the Senate, Malonza told senators that due to advisory alerts given to tourists that the country is not a safe tourist destination, tourists have shied away.
“The country suffered because of advisory that were issued that Kenyans is not a safe tourist destination and therefore even if I don’t have the figures on the number of cruise ship that were scheduled to come.I know we suffred a huge loss,”she said.
She revealed that a cruise ship which was slated to dock in the country last month for five days had led to the loss of Sh 80 Million worth of revenue after it was rescheduled to Zanzibar due to the opposition coalition demonstrations.
“The loss we got from that one cruise ship was Sh 80Million besides the number of other losses. If they were to visit besides the other losses, one tourist supports six jobs in this country,” Malonza told Senators.
Nominated Senator Veronica Maina had raised a question on the schedule of cruise ships that were scheduled to dock in Kenya between January 2022 and June 2023 but had canceled their voyage.
Senator Maina demanded answers on why the cruise ships if any had changed their destination from Kenya, stating the reasons for the cancellation or change.
The Tourism Boss however failed to furnish the House with the quantifiables in terms of losses that the docket has faced due to the ongoing Azimio protests.
“In terms of quantifiables cost and revenue what has the country lost by cancellation of cruise ship. I think as a nation its important that Kenyans are made to understand the amount of loss we experience when we engage in Maandamanos and the effects of that,” said Mandago.
“The coastal senators should have been here so as to be able to advice their bosses on the losses in the region and the economic sabotage in their counties,” he added.
Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot who castigated the coastal senators allied to Azimio La Umoja for absconding the seating implored CS Malonza to furnish the House with details of the serious economic sabotage caused by the anti-government protest.
“Listening to the questions raised by senators its possible to quantify what they are asking for. The CS has cited the indicators to quantify the loss of revenue to the country due to the Azimo demos by one this cruise ship due to political instability,” said Cheruyoit.
“The coastal senators have chosen to be ignorant and ignore the plight of how the exercises they are involved in Nairobi are causing to the people,” he added.
Senate speaker Amason Kingi directed CS Malonza to prepare a comprehensive answer on the extent of loss in the entire tourism sector.
“We are going on recess and we will resume the next session on 23rd of May.When we resume you need furnish all information including the extent of loss not only on cruise ship cancellation but the entire tourism spectre,”said Kingi.
The majority of cruise tourists are high-end spending visitors who visit wildlife parks and coastal beaches.