Business

Travel agents raise alarm over impact of higher taxes, policy changes

By |

KATA leaders also proposed the full implementation of existing policies to expand the tourism business.

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) has raised the alarm over increasing taxes and policy changes, noting they threaten to cripple the sector.

At KATA's Annual General Meeting and Convention, which took place in Mombasa on June 7-8, Chief Executive Officer Nicanor Sabula expressed members' unanimous concern about disruptions to travel operations by member organisations.

"Like all other businesses, we are facing some difficulties with the new economic regulations that the government is introducing, especially in terms of taxes," Sabula said.

"When taxes are increased, the business environment becomes more challenging because everyone is under significant financial strain. Our travel sector often faces threats when the cost of doing business rises because the first thing companies will do is reduce travel."

KATA leaders also proposed the full implementation of existing policies to expand the tourism business.

They pointed out that the current state of airports and tourist hotels has not met international standards and recommended improvements to make these sectors more attractive to tourists.

KATA Chairman Joseph Kithitu noted that expanding the tourism economy takes time as it involves assessing goals, infrastructure, compliance with international standards, and other such factors.

"We are pleased with ongoing policies, but what is needed is speed in implementation so that we can quickly elevate our business. We compete with other countries, and those countries are also working hard, so we must also work hard to bring first-time tourists here, and quickly, so that we can benefit," he said.

Noting that tax increments and policy changes are the key challenges hindering their progress, the leaders also called on the government to give stakeholders more time to develop appropriate strategies to improve the organisation's services.

"If our tourism becomes more expensive, people will [explore choices] not only here in Africa but also worldwide, so let's not make our tourism expensive and difficult," Kithitu said.

"Let's strengthen our economic offerings, build our hotels, roads, and airports, and attract investors who will bring in new resources so we can grow our economy. We should also invest heavily in domestic tourism because that is a major economic driver."

Meanwhile, KATA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with national carrier Kenya Airways to increase its market presence for national services and enhance competitiveness within the sector and with other organisations in the East African region.

Reader comments

Recent Stories

Three Somali fishermen found in Maldives after missing for 3 months

Three Somali fishermen found in Maldives after missing for 3 months

Monday, June 24, 2024
CJ Koome implements comprehensive security overhaul as courts reopen

CJ Koome implements comprehensive security overhaul as courts reopen

Monday, June 24, 2024
Kenya secures Sh59.7bn Global Fund grants to combat HIV, TB and Malaria

Kenya secures Sh59.7bn Global Fund grants to combat HIV, TB and Malaria

Monday, June 24, 2024
AU to form presidential committee led by Museveni, for Sudanese talks

AU to form presidential committee led by Museveni, for Sudanese talks

Monday, June 24, 2024
Coastal residents condemn local MPs while protesting against Finance Bill

Coastal residents condemn local MPs while protesting against Finance Bill

Monday, June 24, 2024
Over 160 Kwale residents benefit from free cataract screening, surgery

Over 160 Kwale residents benefit from free cataract screening, surgery

Monday, June 24, 2024
Heavy rainfall claims lives and causes widespread damage in Mogadishu

Heavy rainfall claims lives and causes widespread damage in Mogadishu

Monday, June 24, 2024
Mombasa County officials face fraud charges over Sh1.6bn garbage scandal

Mombasa County officials face fraud charges over Sh1.6bn garbage scandal

Monday, June 24, 2024
EXPLAINER: Know your rights! What to do when police arrest you

EXPLAINER: Know your rights! What to do when police arrest you

Monday, June 24, 2024
Schools break for mid-term ahead of fresh round of anti-Finance Bill protests

Schools break for mid-term ahead of fresh round of anti-Finance Bill protests

Monday, June 24, 2024
Ruto, Kenya Kwanza leaders change tune, call for dialogue with Gen Z over protests

Ruto, Kenya Kwanza leaders change tune, call for dialogue with Gen Z over protests

Monday, June 24, 2024
We should all speak against injustices in Kenya - Houghton Irungu

We should all speak against injustices in Kenya - Houghton Irungu

Monday, June 24, 2024
State urges Kenyans to pick 87,000 uncollected passports

State urges Kenyans to pick 87,000 uncollected passports

Monday, June 24, 2024
Finance Bill takes centre stage as thousands of Northern Kenya residents engage on Twitter space

Finance Bill takes centre stage as thousands of Northern Kenya residents engage on Twitter space

Monday, June 24, 2024
Journalist’s memoir reveals story of Somalia’s resilience

Journalist’s memoir reveals story of Somalia’s resilience

Monday, June 24, 2024
Explainer: What is cervical cancer and how can it be prevented?

Explainer: What is cervical cancer and how can it be prevented?

Monday, June 24, 2024
Osman Korar: Kiambu's first Muslim CEC with thirst for serving the youth

Osman Korar: Kiambu's first Muslim CEC with thirst for serving the youth

Sunday, June 23, 2024
Kwale records decline in teen pregnancy, SGBV amid school and community interventions

Kwale records decline in teen pregnancy, SGBV amid school and community interventions

Sunday, June 23, 2024
Heartbreak for Kenya Lionesses as they fall to China in Olympics Repechage final

Heartbreak for Kenya Lionesses as they fall to China in Olympics Repechage final

Sunday, June 23, 2024
Education stakeholders back Mombasa's muguka ban

Education stakeholders back Mombasa's muguka ban

Sunday, June 23, 2024
Live Updates