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Kenya to invest massively into its tourism sector

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 > 12:03:18

(SPY Ghana)

Kenya’s tourism markets said on Monday they will spend 1.54 million U.S. dollars for global advertisement campaigns as part of the recovery efforts to revive the sector.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said in a statement issued in Nairobi it has also allocated over 165,000 dollars towards charter airline promotions and volume tour operators so as to improve on traffic to the destination.

“The media campaigns will showcase diversity of the destination in tourism product offerings mostly in our key source markets in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and the rest of the potential markets to Kenya,” said Ndegwa.

He was speaking at the sidelines of the 2015 International Tourism Bourse (ITB), in Berlin Germany where Kenya is represented by over 40 travel trade to showcase Kenya’s tourism products.

Ndegwa said the campaigns to be undertaken both below and above the line media platforms will kick off from April.

According to Ndegwa, perceived Ebola and insecurity threats have negatively impacted on the Kenyan destination leading to low tourism activities especially at the coastal region.

Despite increased terror attacks in the country, tourism players have already rolled out plans to manage any crisis that could emerge due to terrorist attacks in various parts of the country by placing some of their people on the ground in areas considered to be flash point areas to give updates in case of any changes to security situation so that tour operators can re-route visitors.

Tourism is the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue for Kenya after tea, with the main tourist attractions being photo safaris through 19 national parks and game reserves, though the country has been diversifying to other areas like eco- tourism, conference tourism and cultural tourism.

Tourism Recovery Task Force last week handed over their report to the government detailing on recovery efforts that Kenya should give priority so as to revive the sector.

But Ndegwa exuded confidence that the campaigns and reassurance messages that have been put in motion would help in restoring back the sector whose performance dropped by 21 percent last year compared to 2013.

He noted that the coastal region has been badly hit by a drop in tourist numbers with scores of charters withdrawing their from Mombasa route.

“We shall partner with tour operators, charters and airlines for special offers with a view to creating interest for visitors to travel to Kenya” explained Ndegwa.

Countries targeted for the charter campaigns include Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, UK and Czech Republic.

Travel trade in ITB used the opportunity to reassure tourists on the resumption of tourism business and appealed to the foreign missions in the key source markets to revise their travel advisories.

“We have clarified on issues regarding Ebola threats and security measures the government has put in place to secure its citizens and visitors alike and we hope to see positive results,” says Turkana County Executive Member Linus Ebenyo.

The East African nation also seized the opportunity to launch her campaigns to position the nation as the origin of humankind, presenting a possibility for Kenya to host pilgrimages from all over the world.

Kenya will next month unveil the Turkana boy in Turkana County as part of the efforts to brand the country as the origin of humankind.

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