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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Shot in the arm for hoteliers as Mombasa county suspends levy

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Mombasa county government has suspended hotel levies “until further notice”, in a move meant to cushion the industry that has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move will benefit least 150 star rated hotels and hundreds of other hoteliers in Mombasa as the county government also extends grace period for the payment of single business permit for the financial year 2021 to June 30.

The county government has also introduced a 30 per cent waiver on single business permit for enterprises owned by the youth, women and people with disabilities.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Friday led discussions with tourism stakeholders drawn from Mombasa, on mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry and economy at large.

Among other resolutions arrived at in the discussions included extension of grace period for payment of land rates for the financial year 2021 from March to June 20, with the county also promising to work closely with the stakeholders to expedite the enactment of the legislation on beach management.

Speaking at his office, governor Joho said the county government will continue working closely with all stakeholders in a bid to revive tourism and the economy at large.

“I want to assure the tourism stakeholders that we shall support them in any way possible. We have extended deadlines for several payments and also made arrangements with the finance department to allow payments to be made in installments,” said Joho.

Tourism stakeholders have welcomed the move saying that it would go a long way in cushioning the already struggling industry.

Government data in collaboration with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance indicates travel and tourism is the most hit with over 3.1 million jobs affected.

This includes hotel employees, pubs and restaurants, tour operators, airlines, travel agents and their related suppliers and support services.

Last year, about 2.3 million employees in the industry were sent home on unpaid leave.

Kenya Coast Tourism Association chair Victor Shitakha has welcomed the move promising that all hotels in the region will strive to abide by the Ministry of Health set protocols.

“I thank the county government for the measures agreed on to cushion us. Let me assure you that our members will work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure that all protocols are observed in our hotels,” said Shitakha.

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