Kenya is positioning tea tours as part of its top tourism experience to diversify products offered by the destination. On Friday, Bomet County unveiled tea tourism product, paving the way for packaged tea tours across tea growing areas in the country.
“Countries such as India and China boast of tea tours and have curved this niche because of the crop which Kenya is also known for. This is an opportunity we have sat on for so long,” Tourism and Wildlife Chief Administrative Secretary Joseph Boinnet said.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Boinnet called on tour operators in the region to package their travel plans to incorporate the tea product.
“There is no better way of building a synergy between tourism and agriculture than embracing tea tourism as an entry point to agro-tourism adventures. This will not only sustain our economic livelihoods but also our tourism strategy to diversify,” he said.
Mr Boinnet said the South Rift region's perfect blend of tea and wildlife safari offered by the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve will be an exciting travel plan to local and international visitors.
Kenya is globally known for its agricultural and horticultural offerings, especially tea, coffee and flowers. These are, Boinnet noted, should be jealously guarded and harnessed to propel country’s economic gains.
With the unveiling of tea as a tourism experience, local and international visitors will be taken through a journey of tea husbandry popularly known as ‘from the bush to the tea cup’. According to the tourism marketer, Kenya Tourism Board, there is already increasing interest by travel agencies for tea tours in Kenya.
Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok said the strategic location of the county as a gateway to the Masai Mara Game Reserve offers travellers an opportunity to experience tea and wildlife safari as one package.
He said the region will anchor the destination for tea tours already showcased in countries such as India and China. "The launch of this product and is the beginning of full exploration and maximisation of benefits that is inherent in the tea product both at economic and social levels “affirmed the governor.
Kenya is among the top three leading producers of tea with exports to Asia, Europe and the US. The country's good weather and husbandry has boosted its position as a premier tea destination. Its tea is also used to blend other teas.