KTB to use music to tap European tourists

March 15, 2012
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Tourism Minister Najib Balala/ FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Ministry of Tourism and the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) have launched a new tool to help market the country in four European countries by partnering with a Netherlands based professional theatre production company.

The Peter Ultee Productions, will produce a musical theatre show dubbed “Out of Africa: The Magic of Kenya”, that will be staged in theatres in Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium and Denmark, starting from September up to December at a cost of Sh8.5 million.

During a media briefing to formalise the partnership, Minister for Tourism Najib Balala said the musical production will feature 18 Kenyans drawn from different cultural backgrounds, who will bring out the cultural richness of the country.

“In a bid to help diversify the tourism product, we decided that there are many songs in different languages in our country and so why can’t we express this to various audiences and use it to our advantage? With this production, we will therefore have an unmatched opportunity to showcase the beauty of our culture and this is one of the creative ways through which we are now marketing the country in both the traditional and emerging markets,” asked the Minister.

Balala also said the production will also afford an opportunity for Kenyan actors and actresses to learn from the theatre industry which remains largely under developed, despite the growth registered in the film industry over the years.

The “Out of Africa: The Magic of Kenya” will be staged in the leading theatres in the four countries, with an international premier planned in the Netherlands.

“We are looking at having 70 shows, treating an audience of more than 40,000 people that will bring out the positive attributes that would attract tourists to choose Kenya over other countries that have similar tourism products”, said Peter Ultee, the Chief Executive Officer of The Peter Ultee Productions.

Ultee said that auditions will begin next week

The production comes at a time as KTB is focussing on the diversification of the tourist offerings to go beyond the beach and safari products that Kenya has been known for in most source markets.

Managing Director for KTB, Muriithi Ndegwa said, “At the moment we have a very vibrant conference tourism product, sports tourism is gaining currency and we appreciate the growth that we have seen in cultural tourism. This production will give us yet another platform to market these new offerings in Europe.”

Europe remains one of the biggest source markets for Kenya, accounting for up to 40% of all tourist arrivals over the years.

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