, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Travel agents have been urged to take advantage of the current peaceful environment to market Kenya’s tourism diversity.
Tourism Permanent Secretary Ruth Solitei told a gathering of Africa travel agents that the peaceful election has endorsed the country as a safe destination for all economic activities and especially tourism that depends a lot on visitor’s safety.
“Kenya as a tourist destination can only do better thanks to the country’s repositioning with freshness and zeal soon after the peaceful General Election held in March this year under a new constitutional dispensation,” she said.
The PS was speaking at the ongoing South Africa tourism exhibition in Durban where over 20 Kenyan travel companies led by Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) are attending a three-day exhibition that has attracted about 15,000 exhibitors from Africa.
“The tourism sector depends much on the safety of a country,” she explained.
She also regretted that the fall of 2.3 percent arrival numbers to the country by sea and air last year with 1.236 million arrivals compared to 1.265 million in 2011 is attributed among other factors general election uncertainties.
KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the marketing agency has placed a lot of focus on the Africa, regional and the UAE market which he noted have shown a lot of resilience at the backdrop of the euro zone crisis biting the Europe market.
Ndegwa told the travel agents that the devolved government structures will reinforce KTB’s strategy on product diversification since every 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 travellers becoming more adventurous and keen on sampling diversified tourism product, we will live up to their expectations,” says Ndegwa.
Last year, the UAE recorded a 91.6 percent growth from the previous year with 40,485 arrivals from 21,128 in 2011.
South Africa recorded a 6.1 percent growth with 40,707 arrivals in 2012 up from 38,354 in 2011 while Uganda posted about 30 percent growth from 42,674 visitors in 2011 to 55,449 visitors last year.