Nakuru County Tourism Association (NCTA) is eyeing intra-Africa travel with a fact-finding mission to Rwanda in March this year.
The association treasurer, Farid Abdallah, said Nakuru was fast growing as a tourist destination and there was need to ensure it was marketed outside the country to potential visitors.
He said they would visit and benchmark with tourism players in Rwanda, which was emerging as top Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Mice) destination in Africa.
“They have the requisite infrastructure such as the iconic Kigali Convention Centre. We hope to learn from our hosts what it takes to be a Mice destination of choice,” said Abdallah, who is also the general manager of Eagle Palace Hotel.
NCTA was started in 2018 and its membership includes hotels and tour operators.
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Abdallah said they had been able to host World Tourism Day celebrations for three years, and the Love Festival.
He, however, said the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted tourism in the county, with closure of some hotels that had affected stakeholders, including tour operators and suppliers.
“With no tourists arriving in the county due to source markets lockdown and flight cancellations, we have decided to heed Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala’s advice to market our product within the region and Africa in general,” he said.
“We have started with Rwanda since it is a landlocked country with rapid industrialisation that has given it an economic boom,” he said.
During the visit, NCTA plans to meet with hotel representatives, tour operators and hotel products suppliers through the Rwanda Development Board to promote tourism.
“Nakuru has a lot to offer, with the new airport and the Standard Gauge Railway coming,” Abdallah said.