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World Travel Awards show Kenya’s tourism product is best in Africa

By Ferdinand Mwongela | April 14th 2016

When the Africa winners in the 23rd World Travel Awards were announced, Kenya was the biggest winner. Out of some 57 categories, Kenyan tour and travel firms scooped at least 20 slots, leaving the rest of Africa to fight for the rest.

In what appears to be a case of trouble on the ground but stability in the air, Kenya Airways, a firm that has been in the news lately for the turbulence in its finances, was one of the biggest winners. KQ as it is fondly called scooped the award for Africa's Leading Airline, and Africa's Leading Airline - Business Class. Leaving the likes of South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines in its wake.

Diani Beach is Africa's leading beach destination and Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club is Africa's leading hotel. Nairobi won as the continent's leading meetings and conference destination, Kenya Tourism Board (leading tourist board) and Mombasa Port (Africa's leading cruise port). These are only a few, to mention all would require a lot more space.

What, however, comes out is that Kenya's tourism offering is the best on the continent. The only question then is whether those responsible for marketing the country as a tourist destination are taking full advantage of the resources that lie at their finger tips. That more than a third of all awards on offer came to Kenya points to a tourism product that should be doing more in terms of attracting visitors.

And while it is easy to berate the government for not doing enough or not allocating more money to such bodies as the Kenya Tourism Board, they should be lauded for the efforts already made. Even though most of the winners are private entities, there are a number of facilities and destinations that would not be leading were it not for efforts from the State. For that, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and his team deserve a clap.

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