Kenya rolls out special licence for tour vans

Public service vehicle operators, who usually convert their vehicles into tour vans during tourism peak seasons, shut out of the business.
Tour business operators have praised it as the best way of weeding out unscrupulous operators.
All tour operators will be registered by the Ministry of Tourism. Foreign investors will be required to invest a minimum of $100,000 and enter the industry with at least two vans.

Kenya has rolled out a special tourism service vehicle licence (TSV), effectively shutting public service vehicle operators, who usually convert their vehicles into tour vans during tourism peak seasons, out of the business.
In efforts to streamline operations in the tourism sector, which is often invaded by PSV operators, the government has launched specific stickers in line with the National Transport and Safety Authority Act, 2012. The law provides for a separate and distinct tour operator’s licence.
Tour business operators have praised it as the best way of weeding out unscrupulous operators. With this licence, Kenya has set the benchmark for other East African countries, particularly Uganda and Rwanda, with whom it is conducting joint marketing initiatives to position the region as the ideal tourist destination.
“The licence will help streamline the sector, promote professionalism and create a level playing field in which investors can compete fairly,” said Fred Kaigua, Kenya Association of Tour Operators chief executive officer.
The launch of the licence had been delayed due to opposition from tour operators in the public transport business, who only go in during peak seasons to get a slice of the tourism business. The law requires that TSV drivers get a tour driver’s licence after undergoing vetting by the Tourism Regulatory Authority.
It also sets conditions for investors seeking to enter the industry, including a physical office with promotional materials, at least a diploma in tour and travel, and at least one van.
All tour operators will be registered by the Ministry of Tourism. Foreign investors will be required to invest a minimum of $100,000 and enter the industry with at least two vans.
Kenya is hoping to improve the quality of service in the tourism sector, which is facing stiff competition from other destinations in Africa, particularly in North and South Africa.
Source: TheeastAfrican

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