In what is not only expected to be perceived as an arrogant and provocative statement, but also one that is likely to attract a response from his longtime coastal rival and current Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has advised hotel managers at the coast to spend their time and energy only on high spending tourists and ignore the others. At a time when the ministry of Tourism has been working hard to try and promote domestic tourism and avoid over-reliance on foreign visitors so as to cushion against dry-spells such as the one caused by the Corona pandemic, Joho threw a spanner in the works.
Speaking during the world tourism day in Mombasa, Governor Ali Hassan Joho shared his experiences from Mauritius which is one of the world’s leading tourist attraction sites. He said that he had to part with more than Kshs 60, 000 just to spend the night in an average hotel room. The reason for such prices, he revealed, was because the country had been able to customise their services and focus on a few select clients whom they offer premium services as their special clientele.
He proposed that coastal hotels do the same; concentrate their energies on tourists who spend big only. Going on to provide tips on how to best attract such commercially viable tourism, he explained that one way was through scheduled flights. He then proceeded to launch a scathing attack on the national carrier Kenya Airways. Dismissing the frequent calls that are made on Kenyans to use Kq and not let it die, he wondered what the need was to try and save an airline that seemed all too willing to die.
He noted that Ugandan Airlines and Air Rwanda were offering very good services, and blocking airlines from other countries in an effort to revive Kenya Airways was going about it the wrong way.
Noting that airlines such as Qatar airways and the Bahraini carrier had been experiencing heavy regulations so as to give Kenya Airways an advantage, he argued that this was hurting the country.
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