January February 2021 - KAHC Updates
March, 2021

Minimum Tax

As you are aware, we have been trying to have the minimum tax requirements reversed by government for the last 5 or so months. In this regard, we had teamed up with other BMO’s i.e. KAM, RETRAK, ICPAK and others and formed a joint technical committee which made recommendations to Treasury, Parliament and KRA.

Our efforts have borne no fruit so far and Parliament went ahead to pass the law even after the same had been included in the Finance Act 2020.

This means that we now have to start paying minimum tax at 1% of turnover starting end of this month even though the tax will be due every quarter. This has some far reaching consequences to our businesses and will be heavily detrimental to all.

The technical team met this morning and we all agreed the best way forward is to seek the intervention of the Constitutional Court so that we can file for an injunction to stop implementation until we are fully heard.

We will be required to commit an amount to cover litigation costs which are estimated to range between Ksh. 4 and 6 million. Given that we have other BMO’s in the suit, we estimate our cost to be in the range of Ksh. 200K. This is an extra amount to what we had budgeted as legal fees for this year but is of utmost importance.

Covid Meetings Resumption

We have resumed our weekly Covid-19 meetings under the auspices of Kepsa. Mohammed Hersi, Jimmi Kariuki, Susan Ongalo and the undersigned are members of the group. Our latest push was to have vaccines available to the hospitality and tourism industry as a priority group. This proposal was accepted by Cabinet and we shall be considered first amongst health workers and vulnerable groups, when the rollout commences.

Citizen and KBC Interviews

We continue our advocacy through the media and held various interviews that were circulated on youtube (some clips are enclosed).




Immigration Meeting

Arising from a number of concerns reported, the KTF Vice-Chairman and the CEOs from KATO & KAHC met the Immigration Director-General and his senior officers to deliberate on the issues of concern.

Key amongst the deliberations were the following:

1.  Approval Time:

The e-Visa takes a maximum of 48hrs to approve but can be issued in a much shorter period.

The application form is a replica of the one that clients used to fill out on arrival and is anchored in the law. In this regard, it is not easy to amend or simplify the form without amending the law through Parliament. This is an issue for the long term.

Availability in different languages will be looked into but poses a challenge for local immigration officers who may not be familiar with different languages.

2.  Auto Save:

The ability to auto save applications had been updated to the system. Should the system “hang”, one can refresh the page then click on the “history” tab to access the information saved.

3.  Payments:

The system currently only accepts Visa & Mastercard and arrangements are in progress to include American Express, Union Pay, PayPal  & Mpesa.

Critical to note is that when making payments, the system sends a One Time Password (OTP) for the owner of the credit card to confirm. Failure to enter this OTP has been a cause for card payment decline.

4.  Communication:

This was noted as a critical  component of the process as applicants need to get assistance  in a timely manner.

The system flashes two dedicated telephone numbers & a email that can be used to get help:

General Enquiries


Payment Issues:


Launch of Resilience Centre

The National Tourism Crisis Response Team launched the Tourism Resilience Centre at Kenyatta University. The centre will provide support to the crisis committee in the form of data provision and research issues affecting the centre. Presiding over the launch was Tourism CS Najib Balala.

Work Permit Committee

The work permit committee met twice during the period and was able to recommend the issuance of work permits that were pending for our members.

TRA Technical Committees

The Association has been appointed into two technical committees at TRA, namely;

  1. Technical Committee on the Development of Spa and Wellness Standards.
  2. Technical Committee on the Development of Tour Driver Guides Accommodation.

The two standards are being done in collaboration with industry experts and the aim is to improve the quality of standards and services and in the long run enhance destination competitiveness. We continue to be members of the Technical Committee developing Tourism and Hospitality Digital Services Minimum Requirements and also participated in the development of MICE minimum requirements.

As soon as the above documents are finalized, we will share them with the members or collaborate with TRA on the dissemination of the same.

NITA Board and Sector Training Committee Membership

As you will recall, we sent you a memo advising on the payment of this levy. In this regard, we would  also like to inform you that the Association is now part of the Board of Management of NITA represented by Mike Macharia, and is also a member of the Sector Training Committee for the industry, represented by Dr. Leah Ng’ang’a.

National Technical Committee On The Development of Tourism Satelite Accounts (TSA)

The Association has continued to be a member of the National Technical Committee on the development of the TSA under Tourism Research Institute (TRI) . Being the UNWTO Recommended Methodological Framework for establishing the economic impact of tourism on the economy, the TSA involves the compilation of ten tables showing the inter-relationships among the economic variables in the tourism value chain. It is designed to show the interaction of the TSA variables and their link with those of the national accounts. The TSA project has been ongoing with support from UNECA(United Nations Commission for Africa.) We are now at the tail end of the project, having had seven retreats. The final document is awaiting the CS endorsement, who will then present it to the industry.

Magical Kenya Signature Experiences

We took part in the launch of KTB’s 2021 Signature Experiences at Karura Forest. The function was presided over by CS Balala amongst other key government and private sector dignitaries. More information can be found on the youtube link below.


Tourism Policy

The Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife has developed the enclosed Tourism Policy in an effort to update guidelines that were developed almost 15 years ago. In this regard, CS Balala together with the team at the Ministry held a validation workshop which we attended amongst other stakeholders. We requested the CS to let us subject the document to the general membership so that we may obtain feedback that will be used to develop the final version which needs to be presented to Parliament in two weeks.

We have received some feedback from members and will share this with the Ministry.

Meeting with the Unions

We held a meeting with the Unions (KHAWU and KUDHEIHA) to discuss the position of our joint communiqués. It was noted by the parties that the state of the industry remained largely unchanged with business levels remaining very low across the board. In this regard, it was agreed that the life of the previous communiqué be extended for the period between now and mid-year with a review scheduled for July 2021. We thank you for your commitment to the process and urge you to continue complying  to the laid down guidelines in the communiqués, in order to maintain industrial harmony during these difficult times.

Nairobi Region Meeting

We held our first 2021 Nairobi Region Meeting where various issues affecting the region were discussed.

More Information