China-built highway to boost Kenya’s tourism sector: official

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People drive on the Chinese-built Nairobi highway towards Mombasa in this November 28, 2021 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

NAIROBI – The Chinese-built Nairobi highway is expected to boost Kenya’s tourism sector, a senior government official has said.

Najib Balala, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, told reporters in Kenya’s capital Nairobi that testing by motorists is expected to start on Saturday.

“The future is bright for the tourism sector as the Nairobi Expressway is expected to reduce the travel time between the airport and various tourist destinations across the city,” Balala said on Thursday evening during the fifth anniversary celebration of the Park Inn Hotel, Nairobi.

He observed that tourists have faced travel delays between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Nairobi’s central business district.

“With the highway, tourists will take about ten minutes between arriving at the airport and the city center, instead of more than two hours currently,” he added.

The 27.1 km Nairobi Expressway was financed and constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation under a public-private partnership model and consists of four-lane and six-lane dual carriageways.

The Kenyan official said the Nairobi highway will allow tourists to enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery through seamless connectivity. “We want tourists to have a seamless travel experience upon arrival to enhance their tourism experience in Kenya.”

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the Nairobi highway will also attract more international hotel brands to set up shop in Kenya’s capital as the level of traffic congestion eases.

A trial of the highway will be launched on Saturday.

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