Nairobi — The Ministry of Tourism has decried impending budget cuts saying they risk crippling its efforts to market the country’s tourism sector.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninnah Malonza said the proposed cuts under the supplementary budget touch on travel which may affect how the ministry markets the country.
“If you look at the development budget that was cut by Sh2 billion which is more on travelling, then it means we will lack money to travel out there to market the country,” Malonza told the House Tourism and Wildlife Committee on Monday.
“This ministry is very vital because it contributes 10 percent of the total GDP in this country. If we fund it well then it means we will be in a position to rescue our economy and attract more forex revenue.”
Malonza cited the growth of the tourism sector saying tourist numbers had risen to 1.4 million from 800,000 in just five months.
“We are already doing better than before in terms of the number of tourists flowing in the country,” she said.
“The more we have international tourists the more revenue we have. I am confident that the number will continue increasing from that 1.4 million in the next two months or so,” Malonza told lawmakers.
Committee Chairperson Kareke Mbiuki (Maara MP) promised to raise Malonza’s concerns to the House and have some of the budget reinstated.
“The ministry raised major concerns about the cuts, and I understand the Executive was clear on cutting its total expenditure by 300 billion shillings but as much as we support that, we will try to see what can be reinstated,” Mbiuki said.
He ruled out a confrontational approach.
“We are here to forge a peaceful path where this committee works well with the executive. I will be representing your grievances to the House and we shall move forward together.”
Under the supplementary budget for the Financial Year 2022/23, the ministry’s allocation was reduced from Sh5 billion to Sh3 billion.
Story by Njoki Kihiu- Capital Fm