The country’s top tourism marketer, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has intensified its efforts to market Kenya to the rest of Africa by targeting key source markets in the region.
Speaking at Tamarid Hotel in Mombasa County, KTB Corporate Affairs Manager, Wausi Walya said the aim is solely to increase arrivals at a time when global tourism is reeling from the effects of the Covid -19 pandemic.
”There is immense potential in both the regional and the African market which we are trying to capture through various platforms. One of them is to play host to familiarization trips like this one and entice the travel trade to sample what Magical Kenya destination has to offer,” she said.
Walya who represented KTB CEO, Dr Betty Radier was speaking at a special cocktail to 15 travel and tour operators from Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia who have been on a week-long product sampling in Kenya’s popular tourist destinations.
The visitors have been to Nairobi, Nanyuki, the Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Diani, Malindi and Watamu on a mission to see the various tourist attractions.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism on the continent was reported to be on a positive growth trajectory.
Travel experts stated that tourism numbers on the continent have grown at a rate of 8.6% over the past years as compared to a global average of 7%. Tourism in Africa is rated as the fastest-growing market in the world.
Despite this, there remain significant challenges to grow the levels of Intra-African tourism, with many of Africa’s tourists finding it easier and more attractive to travel to Europe or Asia.
Walya stressed that there is need to actualize increased growth and collaboration between Africa’s tourism destinations with a view to tapping into the potential that exists in the continent.
”This is a sector of our economy that can grow exponentially and is what we need to bolster to have our economies survive the harsh post Covid-19 times,” she said.
Walya noted that promoting intra-Africa tourism could at the same time catalyze the generation of opportunities within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
On their part, the national flag carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) were ready to keep on supporting the travel trade through provisions of flexible bookings and ticket pricings.
[Travel and tour operators from Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia during a dinner at Tamarind Dhow Hotel in Mombasa organized by KTB. Photo/Haramo Ali].
”We are seeing increased uptake in passengers now taking to flying with the month of June this year being the best this year. People are getting confident to travel. Airlifts now average 60-65 per cent,” Ms Rose Kiseli, General Manager KQ Kenya and North Africa said.
Travelneza Uganda Managing director, Ms Laura Kagame singled out for mention the unique hotel settings at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi which stood out during their inspection and familiarization tour.