Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala
has commended Kenya Ports Authority for initiating construction
of the cruise ship terminal at the Port of Mombasa.
The Cabinet Secretary said the cruise
ship terminal to be developed at a cost of Kshs. 350
million was a major boost to Kenya’s tourism sector as
it will encourage the number of holiday makers visiting
Trademark East Africa (TMEA) is a
development partner, with a contribution of Ksh.100
million of the total budget.
Speaking at the KPA head-quarters on
Friday during the launch of the development of the
terminal, Balala said the facility will be a game
changer in the tourism sector.
“Construction of the terminal will
allow for an increased volume of cruise ships to
arrive at the port, turning the Port of Mombasa into
the main tourist destination in East and Central
Africa,” he said.
Balala said the development of the
terminal was necessary since it will be the tourists’
first point of interaction with the country.
Tourism CS Najib Balala is being
received by MCTA chairman and the CEO of Heritage group
of Hotels Mohamed Hersi on arrival at Kilindini Port to
commission cruise ship terminals. PHOTO
BY TITUS MUSAU
“We want to have entertain-ment by
dance troupes thus supporting local economy, have a shopping
area and introduce guests to local cultures and cuisines
before they proceed to the mainland or other parts of the
country,” he added.
Speaking during the event, KPA
Managing Director Mrs. Catherine Mturi-Wairi, expressed delight
saying this was a significant milestone for the Port of Mombasa
and for Kenya as a country.
“For us and the tourism sector this is
a perfect Christmas gift.
The launch of the development of this
cruise terminal comes at a time when the Port is getting back on
the international cruise itinerary as witnessed by the increased
number of cruise vessel calls in the last two years,” said the
She informed the meeting that last
season the port received 10 vessels with over 6,000 tourists and
this season already two vessels have called at the port with
“Ten years ago, our port attracted
over 40,000 cruise tourists per year.
Upon completion of this terminal, we
expect the numbers to grow significantly since security in the
region has greatly improved,” the MD added.
On his part TMEA Director General,
David Stanton cited tourism as being critical to the country’s
economy saying it had the potential to impact a large number of
the poor and women, directly and indirectly repre-senting over
“Tourism currently contributes 10.5
per cent to the Country’s GDP and is projected to grow at 5%
per annum up to the year 2025.
“We are excited by the growth of the
sector and its enormous potential.
“This fits well with TMEA vision of
improved prosperity through creation of sustainable jobs,”
he said. Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who was also present
acknowledged the initiative saying his government fully
supports the project.
“We must continue to en-courage
meaningful engage-ments and partnerships for the promotion
of tourism to be realized,” said the Governor.