NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – A forthcoming report by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) will shine a spotlight on Kenya’s tourism industry, exploring the challenges that operators face which range from security and image concerns to a new Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced mid-season.
The report, dubbed, ‘The Report: Kenya 2015,’ will analyze the thoughts of industry representatives as they look to draw a line under a difficult two-year period.
It will also provide coverage of the national drive to revitalize the industry, which is being led by a Tourism Recovery Task Force (TRTF), made up of public and private participants.
“Bookings were already completed. The lack of ample notice meant there was no time for preparation and that has made it very difficult for players to survive,” the Chief Executive Officer of Micato Safaria and board member of the American Chamber of Commerce Elizabeth Wheeler said.
She said that improving the country’s image abroad must feature high on the agenda, pointing out that other destinations facing similar challenges that had acted quickly were already welcoming back tourists.
Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Ndegwa Mureithi says funds set aside for global advertising and public relations campaigns would help to counter what he terms as overly negative sentiment in the international media.
Echoing Wheeler’s comments, he said terrorism and insecurity were not unique to Kenya.
“But it is important that we show our key tourist markets that we take the situation seriously and are actively addressing it,” he added. “It is essential that we take control of the information in the market.”
The KTB’s managing director said that campaigns targeting key source markets would run alongside a drive to step up security at tourist attractions.
“There is also potential in targeting non-traditional European markets as well as emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia,” he said. “We are working with the private sector to increase our visibility in these countries.”
The Report will see industry experts and other representatives air their views on a broad range of topical issues affecting tourism, including the country’s efforts to develop the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) segment, regional collaborative ventures and capacity versus demand.
OBG’s Managing Director for Africa Karine Loehman welcomed the contributions made by industry experts many of which, she said, had been arranged by AmCham Kenya.
“The input of those keen to play a part in Kenya’s efforts to generate a tourism revival has enabled the Group to provide investors with a more detailed insight into the latest developments under way across the industry against the broader economic landscape,” she said.
“I am delighted that we have been able to seek out the views of so many industry and public sector players in what remains one of the world’s fastest growing middle-income economies.”
The report will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will be available in print or online.