Friday, August 08, 2008

Tourism: The next target of the corrupt

There are 3 cash-rich sectors in Kenya today. Retail especially supermarkets although these have hold an equal amount in working capital. Banking is other. But in terms of pure cash, I think tourism is in a class of its own especially when the traffic is buoyant. Its Kenya’s second foreign earner after the diaspora bringing in around Ksh50-60bn.

Many have cottoned onto this, but also the fact that there is limited number of huge cash-generating lodges, hotels, camps that can be built given environmental constraints that mean for example only a certain number of camps can be set up in Mara.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the business set-up in Kenya currently lends itself to corruption. My recommendation is that GoK should in effect be an enabler (providing the legal setting, infrastructure and so forth), but shouldn’t be an owner of hotels or camps. Otherwise what is currently brewing under the cover at KTDC will become GRH repeated over and over many times.

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