Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is rooting for strong partnerships with tourism trade partners and county governments as it seeks to boost tourism numbers in the country.
Consequently, the marketing agency will next month convene a two-day engagement meeting with County Tourism CECs, Chief Officers, and tourism trade representatives to deliberate on areas of collaboration with the view of broadening the scope of tourism within the counties.
This comes on the back of the recovery of Kenya’s tourism arrivals, as well as an aggressive campaign on the domestic tourism front dubbed “You deserve a holiday” which has provided enriched experiences to Kenyans away from the traditional beach and safari product.
Speaking during an engagement with tourism trade partners at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), KTB Ag. CEO John Chirchir said that the travel trade has been an important pillar in this recovery as they have played a key role in building confidence in Kenya as a preferred tourist destination.
“This is an exciting time from which we are looking at tourism growth in the country, both in number and value as well as tourism stories being told widely by many Kenyans and the travel trade partners alike.
The travel trade, in particular, is important in developing as well as providing tourism opportunities and packages for travelers, both in the domestic market and globally. Therefore, going forward, we shall look at areas of collaboration and how we can diversify our tourism product and rejuvenate it such that it can meet the demands of today’s market,” Chirchir said.
He added that the partnership efforts would also extend to county governments and other key stakeholders who, according to Mr Chirchir, will be instrumental in helping the country achieve a target of about ten million arrivals in the long haul.
“We will also be engaging with county governments as we deliberate on issues of product mapping, product packaging, and also how to work and collaborate with the private sector who are investing in the development of tourism experiences, tourism facilities, and broadening the scope of tourism within their counties. Our aim is to have a transformation of the tourism docket across Kenya, especially in counties whose economic sectors are reliant on tourism.”
Mr. Chirchir lauded the “You deserve a holiday” drive which he said was an example of how tourism stakeholders can work together to drive shared growth for the sector. The bed occupancy of the domestic market is expected to increase by about 10 percent during the 2023 Easter Holiday following the success of the six-month domestic campaign by KTB.
Launched in mid-2022, the campaign has brought on board over 20 partners including tour operators, airlines, and hoteliers making travel packages complete for a seamless experience. The campaign is aimed at unlocking the potential of the domestic markets by accessing potential areas that the Kenyan travel trade has had the challenge to penetrate.
A number of organizations have been engaged in the initiative including Golf clubs, malls, and churches. The campaign has been to several counties including Machakos, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, and Laikipia with the final tour expected to be in Mombasa next month.
On his part, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) CEO Mike Macharia said: “We have had a long partnership with KTB, especially in terms of running campaigns on a domestic, regional, and international front which has helped create awareness and put some positioning of the tourism product. We are now looking to expand the partnership even further with the aim of opening new products, targeting new areas, and driving sustainability which will ultimately result in positive growth for the industry.”
With the Easter Holiday coming up, KTB has called on Kenyans to take up the available holiday offers courtesy of the ‘You Deserve a Holiday’ campaign. The offers are available on the magicalkenya.com/tembeakenya platform. The offers cater to different categories of travelers including families, couples as well as individuals.
Kenya continues to record improved tourist arrivals as the sector steadily recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic shocks. According to the Kenya Tourism Sector Performance Report 2022, the country registered a 72.4 percent recovery in the number of international visitor arrivals in 2022, which stood at 1,483,752 as compared to 2,048,834 in 2019. This exceeded the global average recovery rate of 63 percent.
Voice of Tourism