More than 35 members of the Laikipia Tourism Association joined in a meeting to review their status, membership and relationship with the County Government of Laikipia.
The Laikipia Tourism Association is an assembly of tourism service providers in the landscape with a commitment to “bringing together all tourism operators and destinations for increased collaboration and to influence the directions and contributions of this sector in the County and to the Greater Laikipia Landscape’s development and management.” The Association promotes sustainable tourism, and the Greater Laikipia Landscape as a preferred destination for visitors.
Three issues dominated the discussions:
- Laikipia County taxes and levies that were adversely affecting the tourism sector.
- Calls for a revived and increased membership and elections of a new executive committee early in 2020.
- Identification of an Advisory Council that will help promote and guide the Association, and strengthen its advocacy at County and National levels.
Several new members were added to the Association’s ranks, including Penguin House, Serena/Sweetwaters, and Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.
The county tourism bill of 2015 continues to languish despite the pledge of County Government to ensure its passage. The bill would formalize the relationship between County Government and the tourism sector through the formation of a Laikipia County Tourism Board. The Board would help to organize the important coordination needed for tourism data collection and statistics, training and skills development, inter-agency cooperation, economic participation, registration, circuits, tourism information, etc. See the draft bill here.
Unfortunately, the Laikipia Governor and CEC for Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives had confirmed their participation, but both failed to attend the event. Thus there is no further update on the status of the tourism bill, coordination with “Destination Laikipia”, or the MOU that the CEC for Tourism has been promoting with the LTA.
Stay tuned for more information early in the New Year!