05-07-2019 by redazione
An important stop to the construction of Palm Exotjca, the ambitious 61-storey skyscraper a hundred meters from the beach of Turtle Bay in Watamu came from Kenya's Minister of Tourism Najib Balala.
During the presentation of the financial year of the tourism sector to hoteliers and representatives of organizations working in the country to the hospitality industry, Balala spoke on the project of the skyscraper that, in the intentions of the Italian designer Giuseppe Moscarino, should be the highest in Kenya.
"That 61-storey skyscraper developed on a small plot in Watamu must not be built - said Balala during his speech - I have already given my objection to NEMA and will not. If they want to build such a skyscraper, they should do it in Nairobi or Mombasa, not on the beach of Watamu".
Balala's rejection is part of a broader discourse regarding construction in coastal destinations, particularly in Diani and Watamu.
"We will not allow the construction of apartments, residences near the beach - said the Minister of Tourism - where only the resorts should be active. We are also witnessing the transformation of hotels into multi-family residences, which is not good and we will stop all such projects, especially in Diani. We ask the hoteliers to be our watchmen and warn us if projects of this kind come up".
Balala also reassured the hoteliers on the coast, talking about the rebranding of the destination ("We will have separate marketing for each of the different locations: Diani, Mombasa, Kilifi, Watamu, Malindi and Lamu") and the private investments that will be facilitated.
"There are large hotel chains that have expressed the desire to open their first class hotels on the coast, we have two requests for Diani and Malindi - said Balala - and we are ready to offer logistics and tax relief for those who want to build a conference center in one of the coastal destinations. The coast of Kenya can become a hub of business tourism worldwide.
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