Saudi Arabia, Kenya to boost cooperation in tourism sector
Plans are also afoot to open a full-fledged office of Kenya’s tourism department in Saudi Arabia, which will be entrusted with the task to generate awareness about Kenyan tourism products and to increase Riyadh-Nairobi tourism traffic,” said Kenyan Minister of Tourism Najib M. Balala, here Tuesday evening.
He met Prince Sultan bin Salman, chief of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) and Fahd A. Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture during his stay. Mohamud Ali Saleh, Kenyan ambassador, was also present during the meetings.
Balala, who held wide-ranging talks with top officials during his stay in Riyadh, said that the two sides were keen to share experiences in this sector. The Kenyan minister was speaking to Arab News in a special interview at Riyadh’s Al-Faisaliah Hotel.
The Kenyan minister pointed out that he had discussed with the head of SCTA Prince Sultan safari tourism and upgrading Saudi skills in the tourism sector. He said he would share with the SCTA the legal framework that governs the tourism sector of Kenya.
Referring to the broad areas of cooperation in tourism sector, he said, "Prince Sultan had done a great job especially in terms of promoting community-based tourism in the Kingdom …… Kenya can also learn from Saudi experience."
Also, Kenya has a lot to offer to the Saudi market in terms of training of personnel working in tourism sector, exchange of technical expertise and tourism programs, the Kenyan minister said.
The Kenyan government recently passed a tourism bill that harmonizes all existing laws of the tourism sector. To this end, he noted that the tourism sector of Kenya has been growing progressively. The country recorded the highest number of tourists’ arrivals ever at more than one million tourists in 2010. This was a 15 percent increase over 2009, said the minister, adding that this figure excludes travelers that entered the country by land, which could add up to another approximately 700,000 tourists.
Saudi Arabia, Kenya to boost cooperation in tourism sector - Arab News