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Kenya lures German tourists

BERLIN, Germany, Mar 10 – The Tourism Ministry through the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has launched a consumer advertising campaign aimed at attracting German visitors whose numbers have been declining in recent months.

KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the campaign that will run on television, newspapers and the internet is scheduled to run in April and May with a budget of Sh18.5 million as a raft of measures aimed at retaining the German attraction to the destination.

According to research by the KTB, the decline of beach holidays travel by the German tourists has decreased from 65 percent  in 1998 to 54 percent in 2009 due to change of travel habits.
 
“The current generation of German tourists is younger and increasingly sophisticated with expectations for a broader range of travel experiences which Kenya must strive to meet,” said Mr Ndegwa.

According to the annual market performance reports for the last three years, Germany which has previously been occupying second position after the UK has slipped two places and is now at number four behind the USA and lately Italy.

In 2009, the highest source market in international arrivals by air and sea were from the UK (164,169) followed by USA (102,255), Italy (66,889), Germany (65,101) and France (41,062).
 
The lack of direct commercial flights from Germany, which is one of Kenya’s traditional market and dependency on charter flights contributed to the change, has also been cited as another reason why this number has dipped.

Mr Ndegwa spoke in Berlin ahead of the International Tourism Bourse that kicked off on Wednesday where Kenya is represented by 46 tourism enterprises including tour operators, hotels, lodges and government tourism agencies.

The firms aim to promote diversified tourism products to the German market at the event which is the world’s largest tourism expo.

During the ITB which runs until Sunday, video advertisement on Kenya will be placed in Berlin underground trains and will be aired 160 times targeting 2.3 million passengers.

More emphasis will be placed on selling the beach holiday with other attractions such as cultural tourism and sports oriented activities among others.
 
The Kenya team is also expected to meet a spectrum of opinion leaders and world travel decision makers as well as seek to establish international business contacts and review old acquaintances.
 
Promotional materials such as invitation cards, Compact Disks with facts and figures on Kenya and photo CDs will also be given away.

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