Beach boys menace along the Kenyan coast has been blamed for the diminishing tourism returns.
Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Adan Ali said the menace had caused negative publicity of the area particularly through the internet leading to depleted returns.
Ali challenged the Government to move with speed and address the problem adding, “These people have given the Kenyan coast bad publicity as they deny visitors good time and peace of mind as they enjoy coastal beaches.”
Ali said before tourists visit the country, they carry out extensive research online and contact tour agencies who are discouraged by the presence of beach boys.
“If the mess is cleared, the country’s tourism numbers from visitors to the coast will increase by 25 per cent which will positively improve the country’s blue economy and benefit coast residents and the country at large,” advised the MP
The legislator spoke during Mombasa’s Jomo Kenyatta beach cleaning exercise in commemoration of the world oceans day.
The beach boys have in the past been accused of sexually harassing visitors to the beaches in the guise of training them to swim where they demand for sexual favours while in deep seas.
Many end up giving into their demands for fear of being drowned and sometimes get infected with STDs including HIV and AIDS.
The beach boys allegedly operate in cartels inside the water where they protect those in the act and scare suspicious onlookers.
The newly formed marine police unit should stay vigilant of this bad crop of Kenyans hurting the blue economy.