How Tourism CS nominee Penina Malonza plans to market Kenya

Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage CS nominee Penina Malonza during vetting at County Hall, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Penina Malonza, the nominee for the position of Tourism Cabinet Secretary says she will leave no stone unturned in marketing Kenya as a favourable tourist destination.

Malonza, who was the third person to appear for vetting before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday said she will promote tourism through marketing, promotional trade fairs, Magical Kenya, and pursue avenues such as digital marketing among others.

“This ministry will be in safe hands. We will focus on partnering with international marketing firms to carry out joint promotion campaigns. This way, Kenya being a medium tourist destination will have more benefits from such campaigns,” Malonza said.

“One of the strategies that I will employ is rebranding and repositioning Kenya by reaching out to our traditional markets and reaching out to new and emerging markets like China and Japan. The other strategy I will use is developing new niche products,” she told the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointments. 

Malonza avers that the removal of border restrictions between the East African Community (EAC) is a step in the right direction.

“We will be running digital marketing campaigns to attract tourists. The generation we have (millennials) use digital platforms, so it is only right to pursue that.”

She also hopes to lower the entry fees for both international and domestic tourists, and tourist attraction sites. Malonza gave an example of the iconic 28-story Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) whose entry fee for locals is Sh200 and Sh600 for foreigners.

The nominee on Wednesday disclosed that she is worth Sh300 million, attributed to owning property in Mombasa, Kajiado, Kitui, and Nairobi counties, motor vehicles and shares in about four Saccos.

The 48-year-old served as Kitui County Deputy Governor between 2013-2017.

She unsuccessfully contested the Kitui Woman Rep seat in 2022.

Malonza is a former senior executive with Compassion International, an NGO supporting vulnerable pupils in Kitui County, and holds a masters in project planning management and another in public health.

The exercise of vetting CS nominees is on its third day.

So far, thirteen nominees have been vetted.