, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 30 – The number of tourists visiting Kenya from the UAE rose to 35,000 between January and August 2015 compared to 18,000 visitors from the same period last year.
This is according to Kenya Tourism Board (KTB)’s Marketing Manager Fatma Bashir who was speaking at the just concluded discussions between KTB and the Dubai Cooperation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing held Dubai.
According to Bashir, factors that contributed to the growth include flight connectivity between the two regions and the presence of a large expatriate community in Dubai that wants to experience the rich tourism product in Kenya.
“We have seen tremendous growth in the past couple of the years and we are keen to do more to continue growing the numbers,” said Bashir.
She added that KTB’s presence in the market had allowed continuous interaction with stakeholders as well as the recent launch of the ‘Choose Kenya’ campaign in the UAE among other strategies has contributed to this growth.
A debut session, the meeting involved information sharing and establishing possible areas of collaboration aimed at increasing traffic from Dubai to Kenya and vice versa.
Representing the Department of Tourism and Commerce, Dubai, the Regional Director for Africa, Stella Obinwa said that the session was a welcome move in establishing possible areas of collaboration. This is because Dubai on the other hand, is keen on growing its numbers from Africa.
Upon receiving an invitation to grace this year’s Magical Kenya Travel EXPO, which takes place in October, Obinwa said that Dubai is keen on a possible participation at the expo which she said is a debut engagement that serves as an entry point of discussions between the two countries.
“Dubai is deliberately focusing on Africa and we are keen to collaborate with willing partners,” she added.
Obinwa was also quick in pointing the role of tourism boards and national carriers, saying that these partnerships were key in growing the number of visitors.
According to KTB, the upcoming Magical Kenya Travel Expo will be key in positioning and showcasing what Kenya has to offer, as an up-market, high-value and safe destination offering diversity of tourism experiences.
Apart from Dubai, KTB has been interacting with countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. According to KTB’s PR and Corporate Communications Manager, Wausi Walya, Kenya is still top on many visitors bucket list and a favourite for repeat visitors.
“The image of Kenya has gained very positive ground and we are keen to leverage in this to get tourism back on track,” said PR Manager, Ms Walya.
The meeting was held at the end of ten day long training session that KTB conducted in partnership with Kenya Airways and Wakanow, one of West Africa’s largest online tour operators.