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Balala cuts park entry fees by half

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Thursday announced that the government had reduced park entry fees by half to encourage local tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CS, who spoke at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters in Nairobi, also announced a one-year moratorium to lodge owners in all the parks and reserves and also slashed by half fees paid by filmmakers shooting documentaries in the parks.

The new charges will apply from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, and will apply to all local and international tourists visiting game parks and reserves in the country managed by the KWS.

“Due to the adverse effects of Covid-19 on the tourism and wildlife sector, we have reduced entry fees to all wildlife game parks and reserves by 50 percent. This will apply to all categories of tourists (local, residents and international), effective 1st July, 2020 for one year,” said Balala.

Kenyans were required to pay Sh300 to tour parks but now they will only be required to pay Sh150.

The CS called on Kenyans to take advantage of the affordable park entry fees to see the beauty, flora and fauna available in the national parks.

He also called on the lodge owners to use the money from the moratorium to invest in refurbishment and work with the KWS to promote parks and Kenya as a preferred tourism safari destination.

The tourism industry is one of the sectors worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic following strict measures that the government imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

Most hotels in the country suspended or scaled-down operations as the number of visitors declined.