Nairobi News

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Decline in tourism costs KWS huge revenue

The Kenya Wildlife Service has announced a 60 per cent loss of revenue in the year 2014 due to a decline in tourism.

KWS acting Director General William Kiprono said the service has had to rely on hand outs from the treasury to keep its parks running smoothly.

“We really suffered last year because there was a big plunge in the number of people visiting the parks. We have however been cushioned by the treasury to ensure that we are able to keep the parks open and running efficiently. We hope that this year will be better,” said Kiprono.

Kenya’s tourism industry took a beating last year with bed occupancy at coastal hotels dipping by up to 60 per cent. Much of the declining tourism figures were attributed to the country’s precarious security situation.

WAR AGAINST POACHING

According to Mr Kiprono, the war on poaching is being won slowly, with KWS reporting a 47 per cent decline in the number of elephants lost to poachers in 2014 as compared to 2013.

Rhinos fared better too, registering a 40 per cent decrease in the numbers poached in 2014 as compared to 2013.

“”Last year we only lost 164 elephants and 35 rhinos as compared to the 302 elephants and 59 rhinos we lost in 2013. This shows we are making progress in the war against poaching,” he said.

Mr Kiprono attributed the decline in poaching activity to more vigilance from the game warders and to the Wildlife Act of 2013 which has introduced more punitive punishments for convicted poachers.