Nairobi, Kenya, October 1 – The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has urged sector players to embrace diversification of products in a bid to build a more resilient tourism economy in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourism Principal Secretary (PS) Safina Kwekwe has urged hoteliers to tap into the domestic markets as well as diversify through events such as cultural and sports tourism emphasizing the need to think beyond Coast’s pristine sandy beaches.
“There is a need to diversify tourism products by developing new attractions to entice visitors to other parts of the country away from beach and safaris by for example promoting cultural tourism,” she said adding that the Coast region is also home to sacred kaya forests which are nature-based and have a rich history that could attract tourists.
Kwekwe said the pandemic had exposed the country’s heavy dependence on foreign tourists from the traditional source markets of Western Europe.
“We don’t want foreign and domestic tourists to appreciate the beauty of the beaches only but we want them to enjoy other activities and increase their length of stay,” she said.
She said the move will enable tourism stakeholders to meet new market demands at a time when the impact of the pandemic continues to affect operations.
The PS was speaking when she toured the sacred Kaya Kinondo forest in Kwale County during a tree-planting campaign as part of celebrations to mark World Tourism week.
Kenya Convention Bureau Chief Executive Officer Jacinta Nzioka who accompanied the PS noted that aggressive marketing of the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is a key strategy of tourism product diversification.
“We are optimistic that the MICE segment will slowly recover following a drastic decrease in 2020 as a result of travel restrictions,” she added.