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Wildebeest migration to boost tourist arrivals

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) is hoping to achieve a 10percent increase of both domestic and international tourists due to the wildebeest migration at the end of this quarter.

Speaking to Capital Business, KTB’s Managing Director Mureithii Ndegwa said hotels in the Maasai Mara region were fully booked with both international and domestic tourists, with some having to look for alternative accommodation to watch the migration.

Mr Ndegwa reiterated the need for more hotels and lodges to be put up to increase bed capacity before the next migration which has achieved world wide recognition.

Mr Ndegwa added the parastatal was in partnership to help promote the Camel Derby which attracts competitors from around the world.

He said this is part of the corporation’s strategy to continue attracting tourists to the country.

“For this year, we aim at diversifying from the usual tourism spots. We need to open up the country and showcase places that have been under-utilised. By sponsoring the Camel Derby, we are hoping to attract tourists to the beauty of Maralal with its exceptional flora and fauna as well as the hotels in the area,” he stated.

The Camel Derby will take place from August 19 to 21.

He said they weer aggressively marketing golf tourism and had already partnered with major marketing firms to help bring more tourists in.

He stated since it was launched at the beginning of the year, they had managed to increase sports tourists with help from embassies abroad from that include; Ireland, Brussels as well as China.

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Mr Ndegwa acknowledged: “The good thing with the country is that we are able to play golf throughout the year. And this is further helped by the fact that the country has some of the best golf courses in the world.”

Last month, Tourism Minister Najib Balala launched four strategies that will help in the marketing and promoting of Sports tourism, Youth tourism, and Agro-tourism.

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