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Kenya courts Eastern Europe

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Kenya has launched Sh16 million tourism marketing campaign in Eastern Europe that is set to begin in Moscow.

Tourism Minister Najib Balala said the campaign will initially focus on consumer advertising and placement of 36 billboards at strategic points in the Russian capital.

“The motive of reaching out to Russia and Eastern Europe is to increase the number of arrivals from this important market,” Mr Balala said.

“In doing so Kenya will have diversified her tourists markets and avoided over-reliance on the traditional markets of Western Europe and North America,” he added.

Mr Balala who spoke from Moscow, explained that owing to the Russia’s expansive population of 142 million people with a very high per capita income of about Sh 1.1 million, the Russian Federation had a high potential as a tourist source market.

He said the Kenya Tourist Board would organise a familiarisation trip for Russian travel writers, travel trade and investors to Kenya in July to experience the destination as part of the initiative.

Mr Balala said such a move would allow the country to be in a better position to help market Kenya in the Russian market.

In the meantime, the Tourism Minister has hinted at the possibility of introduction of a direct flight to Russia by the end of 2009, either on a scheduled airline or direct charter.

Last year, Kenya received 3,000 tourists from Russia.

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