Kenya mulls adoption of new pricing model for wildlife park entry fees

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Wildebeest descending the steep bank of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and crossing it. /Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images

Kenya plans to adopt a new pricing model for major wildlife sanctuaries in order to boost tourism revenues, a government official said on Monday.

Wildebeest descending the steep bank of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and crossing it. /Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said that the innovative model will be a departure from the current one which has a flat fee regardless of the demand from both domestic and foreign tourists.

“We will revert to a new model that is seasonal, meaning that during the high season the entry price will go up and during the low season the price will come down,” Balala said.

Last year, the east African nation implemented a 50 percent reduction on entry fees for both local and domestic tourists which has since been extended to the end of the year. The new pricing model will be implemented from the beginning of 2022.

Balala added that Kenya’s low season for visiting wildlife sanctuaries coincides with the rainy season due to the difficulty of navigating the parks during the wet season.

He observed that the new pricing model is expected to increase the revenues generated by national parks and reserves by tapping on high demand from visitors seeking to enjoy the country’s wildlife heritage.

The tourism ministry also says current international travel restrictions have also boosted the significance of the domestic tourism sector which now accounts for approximately 80 percent of all the industry’s revenues.

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