Kilifi North MP Owen Baya has asked hotel investors in Kilifi county to support community projects in the region through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects.
The MP said although several investors have contributed immensely to the economic development of the region, a lot remains to be done. “There are investors in Watamu and Malindi who have actually built hospitals, schools, water and even roads,” he said.
The MP said the Italian investor has no moral authority to lecture Kenyans on what to do. “There are also potholes in Italy too; why should he complain whenever he sees a pothole in Malindi?”
Baya, who was speaking in Kilifi town, said he would introduce an amendment bill to the Tourism Act in Parliament to give tourism stakeholders the role to directly market of their investments.
“Currently, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has failed to properly market Kenya abroad. This is why we want hotel owners to participate directly in marketing their hotels and investments to increase the tourists visiting the region every year,” he said.
Baya asked Tourism CS Najib Balala to aggressively market the Coast because original tourism meant that a tourist had to land at the Coast before heading to other regions.
Reacting to accusations made by a well-known Italian investor in Malindi town, Flavio Biatore, that the resort town was dirty and threatened to sale his investment to move out, Baya told him to make good his threat and move out.
Recently, Biatore threatened to close his vast businesses claiming that Malindi was dirty and the concerned local authorities have failed to maintain cleanliness. He also complained of potholes on roads leading to tourist hotels and other investments in the town.
Baya said that the huge investments Biatore has put in Malindi are now no so important to the people of Kilifi county but claimed it was not.
“Whenever this billionaire comes to Malindi, he comes with his own cooks, cleaners, musicians and even Italian foods. He should be helping us in marketing Malindi to boost tourism and provide employment opportunities to the locals,” he said.