LETTERS: Barriers to flights hampering trade and tourism
Passengers disembark from the plane. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kisumu AIRPORT TERMINAL, has recorded much-improved traffic of over 32 flights each day with minimal affordable air tickets which have made customers enjoy a sophisticated competition by airlines. That is a sign of increased passenger and activity traffic between Kisumu and Nairobi and Mombasa.
While Jomo Kenyatta AIRPORT TERMINAL in Nairobi and Mombasa’s Moi AIRPORT TERMINAL are ‘international’ within their true sense, meaning serving international and regional destinations, Kisumu is not elevated to the status yet.
Early this, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said in addition, it has plans to shift the miraa transportation and cargo from JKIA to Isiolo AIRPORT TERMINAL, which is serving the Somalia market.
The implementation of the international status can boost the logistics greatly, tourism and trade of Kisumu. Since it is, Kisumu serves the complete Western South and Kenya Rift Region. The recent major milestone was with regards to a direct flight from Kisumu to Mombasa.
With an elevated investment in road infrastructure and network in your community, the Sirare-Ahero Road amongst others especially, transportation, warehousing and logistics opportunities have great potential. Recently, the hospitality industry has expanded with an increase of investment and openings in infrastructure.
Investment in transport and hotels has been on an upward trend and visitors no more lack better accommodation. In addition, the county governments across the lake have mapped out the tourist sites increasingly, national parks and game reserves.
As of the half a year to, imports from Uganda, stood at Sh30 already.2 billion. Kenya’s exports to Uganda alternatively were at Sh.26 billion.
It means the expenses shall have doubled by end of the. In leveraging and taking and opportunity on which can be acquired, by the spirit of East Africa Community, we in Western Kenya, kisumu should look at East Africa to catalyse this growth especially. That’s Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, DR Congo and Western Tanzania.
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Focus regions of growth are tourism, logistics and trade. Day a passenger likely to Kampala this is a pity that around this, Goma, Kivu, Juba, Arusha and Mwanza flies to Nairobi then flies overhead through Kisumu to Entebbe first.
Serious efforts ought to be designed to have direct cargo and passenger flights from Kisumu to these destinations. Hardly do we get tourists from Uganda and neighboring countries to Kisumu. I’d attribute this to insufficient enough and targeted marketing to non-traditional and new tourism markets.. With removing the barrier by KAA and the opportunities that the airlines will undoubtedly be now be area of the new routes, the counties can perform targeted tourism marketing.
It can be an opportune time for Western circuit stakeholders with the help of County Government to expeditiously engage EAC and the relevant air regulators. On trade, day busloads and lorries cross the border from Uganda that arrive to Kisumu each and every, the number of goods which are carried is immense. Kenya Ports Authority also recently launched a fresh jetty at the port which they hope private players may take benefit of for simple transport of petroleum products.
Investors on water transport are establishing shop. The missing link remains the direct cargo and passenger planes to your neighboring countries. This can require eased regulations which are currently hampering this. For a while to medium term, the yields on the investments that the counties that are categorized as the Lake Region Economic Bloc have already been making shall need new markets. It really is expected that under that bloc too, and the counties specializing on which they do best, the expense of production will be likely to fall.
New markets for perishable and fragile goods will be in the DRC, Burundi, Uganda and rwanda. As a country the increasing negative balance of trade ought to be reversed now, since the aim ought to be more exports either matching their imports or surpassing them.
On the Ugandan side, the cargo handling facility at Entebbe airport has been expanded because of future and current prospects of trade. With the introduction of the East African Passport that must encourage tourism, it has exposed all East Africans to a opportunities and market around 150 million people.
There, education travels, medical tourism, conferences and conventions and leisure travels which should necessitate removing the flight barrier and unnecessary taxes that hinder that achievement. It really is hence my prayer that the actual east African spirit will be upheld to unlock the possibility of an area waiting to roar.
George Abwajo, youth secretary and rep, Kisumu County Economic and Budget Forum.