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KTB steps up marketing to woo more foreign tourists

16 October 2013, 14:25

Nairobi - Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) have increased marketing campaigns to woo more foreign visitors into the country, eying 3 million arrivals by 2015.

KTB said Tuesday it will be hosting 150 most influential travel trade representatives from key tourism markets for more than a week.

"By exposing the delegation of hosted buyers and treating them to our warm hospitality, tasty cuisine and having them attend some of the key tourism events that we are privileged to host, we aim at fighting the negative publicity about the country," KTB MD Muriithi Ndegwa said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The "hosted buyers" who arrived in the country over the weekend is currently sampling different attractions around the country, and will attend the Africa Chapter of the World Travel Awards (WTA) on Wednesday, before participating in the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo at the KICC starting Friday.

"As you know we are targeting to boost tourism numbers from the current average of million, to three million over the next five years. This visit will also address misconceptions about security in Kenya, showcase the upcoming facilities and highlight activities that tourists can enjoy in different counties," he said.

About 150 buyers from Kenya's key source markets in Europe, Asia, America and the Middle East are expected to participate in the Expo, whose objectives include positioning and showcasing Kenya as an up-market, high-value destination offering unparalleled diversity of tourism experience, in addition to celebrating the achievements of destination Kenya beyond the tourism agenda.

Tourism is the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue for Kenya after tea, with the main tourist attractions being photo safaris through 19 national parks and game reserves, though the country has been diversifying to other areas like eco- tourism, conference tourism and cultural tourism.

Revenues from tourism reached to about 1.1 billion U.S. dollars for the 2012/2013 financial year, compared to the 1.18 billion dollars in the previous period, which is a 7.4 percent decline.

The government attributed the decline to general elections that were held in the first half of 2013. Total arrivals also declined by 8.8 percent to 1.1 million from 2011/2012 financial year from 1. 2 million visitors in 2011.

The team currently in the country is composed of travel trade representatives from Scandinavia, Britain, the U. S., Italy, the Benelux, Turkey, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Austria, Russia, Czech, Poland, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Uganda.

They are visiting various national parks, conservancies, beach and golf properties among other unrivalled offerings in the country.

Muriithi noted that the delegation now joins the prestigious list of Kenya's destination ambassadors who will be sharing the message with others about Kenya as an ideal destination that caters to all travellers.

WTA will serve as a precursor to the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE 2013) hosted by KTB between Oct. 18-20.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards reward and celebrate the enormous achievements in all sectors of the global travel industry, which travel professionals and their clients have come to regard as best endorsement that any travel product can achieve.

- Xinhua


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