Players in the multi-billion shilling tourism industry at the Kenyan Coast have saluted global carrier, Qatar Airways for starting direct flights to Mombasa from its Doha hub.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch Executive Officer, Mr Sam Ikwaye said that move by Qatar Airways to choose Mombasa as its second destination in Kenya after Nairobi was a clear acknowledgement that Mombasa was rising up again.

On Sunday, Qatar Airways brought in an Airbus A320, heralding the start of direct link between Doha’s Hamad International Airport and Moi International Airport Mombasa.

Qatar Airways will be operating four weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to Mombasa and this will bring a total of 25 weekly flights between Doha and Mombasa.

” Mombasa and the entire Coast destination is begining to elicit confidence. We hope the many infrastructural upgrades in and around Mombasa will be completed in due time to help give the Port City of Mombasa a complete makeover,” Ikwaye said.

At the same time

Ikwaye said that with the good tidings over the Coastal destination, it was their hope that the government can move with speed and ensure that investors in the hospitality industry are assisted to upgrade their facilities.

” We have the incentive where there is zero rating of Value Added Tax (VAT) on construction materials that have to be imported. However, the rape tape that exists in accessing this government privilege is very discouraging and ought to be eased,” he said.

Plaza Beach Hotel General Manager, Mr Denis Gwaro added his voice to the new flight by Qatar Airways saying that while Mombasa and the Kenyan Coast have remained attractive, challenge in accessing it have always been there.

” We are seeing alot of hope with the coming of Qatar Airways into Mombasa and hope that in the new year-2019 other international carriers will follow suit and start flying here,” Gwaro said.