Kenya: Govt Seeks Public Views on Enhanced Airbnb Regulations

Nairobi — The government is actively seeking public input to refine regulations governing short-stay facilities, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has revealed.

Mutua said Wednesday that the primary focus of the move is enhancing safety and suitability for visitors.

Mutua, addressing attendees at the inaugural Kenya Women in Tourism Association Conference on Wednesday, emphasized the integral role Airbnbs play in contributing to the tourism sector.

He encouraged women to consider investing in such facilities as a means of boosting the country’s economy.

“Despite recent challenges, I urged women and youth to consider investing in these facilities, underscoring the importance of exploring innovative alternatives to conventional accommodations,” he said.

This announcement comes amid growing calls for more stringent regulations governing Airbnb operations, particularly in light of recent cases of femicide associated with rented properties.

High-profile incidents, such as the tragic killing of socialite Starlet Wahu in South B and the murder of 20-year-old university student Rita Waeni in a rented house in Roysambu, have sparked concerns and increased demands for improved safety measures.

On January 17, the government issued advice to the public, urging them to verify the registration and licensing status of accommodation facilities before booking their stay as a precautionary measure.

CS Mutua revealed that the government is conducting a comprehensive review of the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) to ensure compliance with existing regulations.

He stressed the importance of the public ensuring that facilities adhere to government directives and maintain quality standards, warning of legal action against violations of TRA licensing laws.

Mutua also highlighted the government’s commitment to the well-being and safety of all stakeholders in Kenya’s tourism sector.

He stated that the government aims to formulate regulations, standards, and guidelines crucial for comprehensive quality service delivery.

Aligned with the Government’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) for improved business practices, the CS noted that his Ministry is conducting a thorough review of current TRA regulations.

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