The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) promises to cushion the country from the effects of terrorism and travel advisories.
According to Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, a significant growth in domestic tourism is projected with the modern railway set to unlock and exploit economic opportunities within regions outside Nairobi. This is seen to hasten the country’s transformation into an industrialising middle-income status in the next 13 years.
The historic flagship project under the Vision 2030 will enhance domestic tourism, create employment opportunities and attract new investments.
“Madaraka Express makes it possible for travelers to enjoy the beautiful sceneries of Nairobi National Park and other parks, Kapiti plains, Sporting Wildlife Graze and leisure facilities along the railway line, Kenyans can now afford to travel and enjoy amenities within the coastal strip,” said Dr Julius Muia, Vision 2030 Director General.
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Kenya’s domestic tourism base holds significant potential for future economic expansion, after years of declining international arrivals driven by security concerns. According to 2016 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Economic Survey, Kenyan residents have grown to account for a significant portion of total hotel nights in the country, with numbers increasing from 2.6 million nights in 2011 to reach over 2.95 million in 2017.
“Despite the fact that Kenyans have smaller holiday budgets, the popularity of national parks and beach resorts is set to rise, particularly for honeymoons and weddings. In addition, national parks and lakes in the Rift Valley have become a hotspot for domestic tourism due to the subsidised travel expense and a growing portfolio of low-cost campsites on offer,” said Dr Muia.
SGR will help in navigating transport challenges which have partly hindered Kenya from realizing its full domestic tourism potential.