, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13- The Ministry of Tourism has launched a Sh30 million SMS campaign to woo domestic travellers as part of its recovery strategy.
The SMS campaign is expected to have a direct impact on domestic tourist numbers as it supports the ongoing efforts to position the country’s tourist attractions to the local audience.
The eight-week campaign will see couples and individuals win prizes including two nights and three days to various attractions.
“Marketing of the country’s products has to be holistic with collaboration from the private sector and the county governments,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said during the SMS campaign launch in Mombasa.
There will be a grand prize for two people for five nights with a flying package either to Maasai Mara or Samburu. To register for the competition, one will be required to send their name to 21888.
The CS said the campaign will add impetus to the ongoing Tembea Kenya initiative seeking to encourage more Kenyans to tour their country and sample its diverse tourism attractions.
Domestic tourism, he pointed out, has been on a steady growth with bed nights occupancy recording about 47 percent up from 41percent in the past years.
“This is indicative of the fact that the sub-sector has the potential for further growth and therefore a cushion to the industry especially during hard times” he noted calling on the hotels to offer affordable packages to the local market as a cushion during low season.
At the same time, Balala thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for his directive on visa fee waiver for children below 16 years and the capping of park fees at 60 USD.
“These, including the Sh1.2 billion charter incentive are major boost to the tourism sector and that is why I have called on the private sector to give full support to the implementation of the process,” the CS said.
He disclosed that he has already initiated discussion with Narok county government for the review of their park fee in the light of the upcoming review by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) owned parks.
The government will soon be unveiling a collaborative strategy on tourism promotion with the county governments to enhance tourism product diversity in the country.