, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Kenya is hosting the largest delegation of Chinese tourists to ever visit the country as its quest to tap the emerging markets of Asia and the Far East gains momentum.
The group of 110 tourists began visits to leading sites in the country from Saturday last week until 16th of April including Hells Gate National Park, Masai Mara and the Aberdares.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa says the visit by the Chinese delegation gives Kenya’s tourism sector a much needed boost and is the result of strategic consumer activations in key Chinese cities including Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu.
Ndegwa says the visit is a grand endorsement of Kenya as a leading destination despite the insecurity challenges in the country including terrorist attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.
“This is a grand endorsement of Kenya as a leading destination despite the challenges we have faced; terrorism is not unique to Kenya and what is important are the measures the government has put in place to deal with the situation,” Ndegwa said.
KTB has been working with Beijing Global Tours, the largest Middle East and African wholesaler and has been able to tap into over 1,000 retailers in China.
China is currently the second highest source market for tourists in the world and the largest outbound tourism package.
Meanwhile, Lamu Old Town will participate in the 2014 World Monuments Watch Day, a series of celebratory and educational events supported by World Monuments Fund to raise awareness on the importance of preservation of historical sites and monuments.
Watch Day events in Lamu will start on April 18 and will go through April 20th with different activities that include free tours to sites and monuments, youth scholars’ forum, film screenings, exhibition, treasure hunt competition, and selected site clean-ups.
Lamu County Executive for Trade, Tourism and Culture Samia Omar says this event will promote tourism and trade in the county.
Omar says the event will also witness the launching of a Lamu dhow before its journey to the United States to represent the county’s historic trade community’s cultural heritage in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014.
Located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Lamu’s surviving historic architecture fuses African, Arabic, Indian, and Persian styles, reflecting the town’s past role as an important trading centre.
The biennial World Monuments Watch was launched in 1996 with support from founding sponsor American Express to call international attention to cultural heritage around the globe threatened by the forces of nature and the impact of social, political and economic change.