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Kenya, Botswana strengthen tourism ties

Travel News

Nairobi - Kenya and Botswana will enhance their cooperation in the tourism sector, a Kenya government official said.

Kenya's Ministry of Tourism Principal Secretary Fatuma Hirsi told a media briefing in Nairobi that Botswana has created a niche in the high end tourism sector while Kenya has excelled in attracting middle and low end tourists.

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Zebras graze at Nairobi National Park outside the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“We, therefore, can collaborate and complement each other,” Hirsi said.

A delegation from Botswana's ministry of tourism is currently on a benchmarking visit to Kenya. The team from the Botswana Tourism Industry Training Fund Management Committee is in Kenya to study how Kenya funds its tourism sector.

Hirsi said the cooperation between Botswana and Kenya has accelerated since President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a state visit to Botswana where he signed a number of bilateral agreements with his Botswana counterpart in a number of areas including tourism. The PS said Kenya will provide Botswana with expertise on how to fund the tourism sector in sustainable way.

The East Africa nation has established a tourism fund that is an autonomous body funding Kenya tourism marketing activities. The tourism fund receives its income from a levy charged to all hoteliers licensed in the country. In the current financial year, the fund is expected to collect $21-million in revenue.

Kenya's tourism cabinet secretary is expected to visit Botswana next month in order to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will provide a framework of cooperation.

The PS said Kenya is willing to learn from Botswana on how it has managed to conserve its elephant population which is key to tourism resource.

Xinhua

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