In the years immediately after independence, Kenya identified tourism as a key pillar for the country’s socio-economic development. The Government integrated tourism in the emerging development blue print, Seasonal Paper No. 10 of 1969. In a joint study by the Governments of Kenya and Switzerland, it was noted that the development of human capacity was vital to the emerging sector. The idea of establishing a national tourism training institution was mooted. This idea culminated into the development of Kenya Utalii College, a world class centre of excellence.
The question was how the new training institution would be sustained. In response, in 1972 the Hotels and Restaurants Act, Cap 494, Laws of Kenya (since repealed) was enacted. The legislation established Catering Levy Trustees. Trustees would collect a 2% training levy from hotels and restaurants and the funds would be used to finance training and operations at the new College.
Since inauguration in 1975 to date, the College has received substantial financing from the Trustees and has produced up to 50,000 students. The students are serving the industry here at home and abroad. Trustees have supported the College in the sum of Kenya Shillings six billion, four hundred million two hundred and eight four thousand three hundred and fifty five (Kshs.6, 400,284,355)only over the past four decades. From a paltry Kenya Shillings one million a year in the 70’s, the College now gets almost Kenya Shillings four hundred million a year from the Levy Fund.