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Kenya wins award at tourism fair

COUNTIES
By - | May 16th 2013

By Philip Mwakio

Durban, South Africa: The Magical Kenyan stand at this year’s Indaba Tourism Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa has won the second best Tourism Stand in the SADC category.

Kenya performed well amid revelations that tourism players had pledged to aggressively launch intra-Africa tourism marketing.

Locally stakeholders welcomed the move for a more intra – Africa tourism marketing campaign with Kwale County executive member in charge of tourism Adam Kheir saying that there is great potential in intra Africa market as far as tapping tourism is concerned.

Vibrant economies

“We have very vibrant economies in the continent and a bid number of foreign expatriates from where we can aggressively tap the African market within Africa itself,’’ Kheir said on telephone.

Kenya got the award for her authentic safari stand even as the country seeks to diversify her tourism products besides beach and wildlife safaris that Kenya is known for. Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the African market was now the centre of focus with individual Africa States putting their best foot forward for the continent’s pie.

Mr Ndegwa said the euro zone in the European markets have seen to the reduction of tourist numbers to Kenya, noting that diversifying into other resilient markets such as Africa would help reverse the trend.

Kenya’s top source markets have recorded a drop in arrivals, for example UK; the second best source market last year recorded an eight per cent drop, with 185,976 visitor arrivals, down from 203,290 in 2011.

Italy had a drop of 14.6 per cent last from 96,360 visitors to 82,330 in 2011, while Germany last year recorded a 5.1 per cent drop with 65,199 visitors from 68,737 arrivals in 2011.

Ndegwa noted that the devolved Government structures would reinforce KTB’s strategy on product diversification, as each county will be identifying their unique and distinct tourism products for marketing. 

“Despite Kenya being known for beach and wildlife safaris, tourist preferences and tastes have changed dramatically, with travelers becoming more adventurous and keen on sampling diversified tourism product; we will live up to their expectations,” says Ndegwa.

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