Disregard security in tourism marketing expert

September 2, 2008

, NAIROBI, September 2 – Marketers in the tourism industry have been urged to downplay issues of security when selling Kenya’s travel destinations abroad.

Fairmont East Africa Managing Director Sean Billing told Capital Business that other ‘unsafe’ tourism destinations strategically avoid focussing on security in their marketing campaigns and advised local stakeholders to instead concentrate on improving quality of their products to attract high-spending tourists.

Other measures to consider, he proposed, included simplified visa application procedures for foreign tourists and the introduction of attractive packages for the domestic tourist in a bid to increase their participation and thus make the trade more sustainable.

“By this I don’t mean massive price cuts but good packages that will encourage more people in the country to travel,” he emphasised. 

Billing’s comments came hot on the heels of an announcement by the United States of America downgrading its travel advisories to travellers into the country.

Meanwhile, Billing said renovations of The Norfolk hotel were on course with 60 percent of the work having been completed.

“The budget for the renovation of this property stands at Sh826 million and I think we have spent half of it so far,” Billing observed.

It’s been about a month since the hotel opened the refurbished front part of the hotel to the public.

The property is in its 14th month of renovation and Billing said they were hoping to re-launch the East African chain to the public next year.

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