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Kenya Proposes to Remove VAT on Tourist Park Entrance Charges

Kenya-budget-2016-17The tourism sector of Kenya received good news during the recent reading of the 2016/2017 National Budget, when hon. Henry Rotich the Cabinet Secretary for Finance proposed the scrapping off of VAT (Value Added Tax) on all entrance fees charged on entering the country’s national parks. About 3 years ago, the republic of Kenya has increased the park entrance fees by an entire 16%, which over the past years stakeholders within the tourism sector were objecting and demanding to be reduced.

In addition, another demand that had been forwarded to government through a number of submissions was similarly met when the government proclaimed that services rendered by tour operators were as well to be set aside and remove the 16% VAT that was charged on them, yet again cutting down the overall cost of Kenya safaris and adventures for foreign holidaymakers.

furthermore, the budget went on to proposed to over the tourism industry 4.5 billion Kenyan shillings purposely for promoting Kenya’s tourism, which, however, ought to be looked at in comparison to the budgets passed over the previous years as well as the finances actually released every year.

However, On the negative aspect, taxes for airport departure will increase for overseas travels from the present US. $40 to US. $50 whereas the charge on domestic air travels will increase from the current 500 Kenyan shillings up to 600 Kenyan shillings.

The finances raised from this are supposed to be invested in a special fund aimed at promoting Kenya’s tourism, however to implement this, suitable legal guidelines have to be put in place an all relevant amendment made in the existing regulations, given that the funds obtained from taxes charged on airport departure up till now go into some other budget line, and the funds are under a another governmental control.

Tourist Arrivals since January 2016 have continued to increase, creating a trend that began in October 2015, when the declining trend eventually bottomed out following almost 4 years of continuous decline. This fund apportioned for tourism promotion, given that it is released promptly, should enable the Kenya Tourism Board to unveil their recovery marketing strategies around the globe, which includes domestic plus regional travels as well as increased travels for Safari in Kenya from other parts of the world.

For more information about Safaris in Kenya, visit www.adventureugandasafari.com/safari-kenya/