Coast tourism stakeholders could lose its Sh1.8 billion share of the Sh3 billion tourism recovery economic stimulus fund as a result of lack of compliance and crucial documents as required by the government.
It has emerged that key players have failed to comply with requirements from regulatory authorities such as Kenya Revenue Authorities, among other key documents needed to qualify for the funds.
Reports indicate that some of the stakeholders could be operating illegally thereby finding it difficult to issue key documents that are required by the government as it could eventually force them to pay tax which they have been evading for years.
According to a report from the economic stimulus programme on the refurbishment and economic stimulus package, Coast had been allocated Sh1.8 billion, which is 60 per cent of the Sh3 billion funding, while the rest of the country is programmed to get Sh1.2 billion.
The report reveals the total applications are Sh7.29 billion with the Coast region having only sent applications worth Sh1.5 billion.
Tourism Finance Corporation Managing Director Jona Erumoi said of these Sh1.5 billion applications the agency had challenges in terms of wrong projects, considering this is a fund to ensure the beach products are well refurbished and fit the competitiveness of the market,’’ he said.
Erumoi said no application had been received from Lamu, which was a major concern to the government.
The MD said they received only three applications from Taita Taveta county, Two in Kilifi County, and very few from Mombasa and Kwale.
He said the government will dispatch a team that will help the stakeholders from all the five counties to be able to run the process between now and the end of January to be able to utilise the Sh1.5 billion which is remaining for the Coast region.
Chairperson of Kenya Hotel Keepers and Caterers Association North Coast region, Maureen Awuor said most of the tourism businesses have been running but are not fully compliant, with the government requirements.