The government will rein in unscrupulous and unlicensed tour operators who are unfairly competing against genuine businesses in the tourism sector, says

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Acting Chief Executive Officer Jacinta Nzioka.

The board will engage with the relevant government agencies and regulatory bodies in the sector to stamp out this menace, she said in a speech read out on her behalf by KTB Domestic Assistant Regional Marketing Manager Alphose Munguti during a one-day training workshop for domestic tourism sales agents in Diani, near Mombasa, over the weekend.

The KTB has launched a one-month long training programme for domestic tourism sales agents across the country with more than 500 operators benefiting in Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties.

Other government agencies, including the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Utalii College, the Tourism Fund, Tourism Regulatory Authority and National Museums of Kenya are supporting the training.

The training is aimed at familiarising the agents on the potential the domestic market had in the growth of the tourism is set for Kisumu, Nakuru and Meru before the launch of phase two in other regions.

According a research commissioned by the KTB, more than 10 million middle-class Kenyans have spending power ranging from 24,000 to 120,000 shillings (one US dollar = about 100 shillings) per month. Further, more than 1.2 million Kenyans are potential air travelers, adding to the potential of domestic travel across the country.

Nzioka noted that domestic tourism has grown remarkably in the recent past contributing 56 of total bed nights occupancy. “This market is resilient and reliable in cushioning the sector during hard times and that is why we have began sensitizing those who are selling domestic tours to take up this opportunity,” said Nzioka.