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Kenya to diversify tourism products to increase arrivals

06 March 2015, 08:13

Nairobi - Kenya plans to develop and promote other tourism products instead of relying solely on beach and safari for marketing as part of efforts to increase the visitor numbers, officials said on Thursday.

East African Affairs Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie said that besides beach and safari that Kenya is known for, it was time to diversify the products and showcase the uniqueness of the destination.

"The launch of campaigns on Kenya as origin of humankind will mark a new strategy to market unique products," Kandie said in a statement released in Nairobi.

She disclosed that Kenya will next month unveil the Turkana Boy in Turkana County as part of a spirited campaigns to position Kenya as an origin of humankind.

The Turkana Boy, discovered in 1984, is known as having existed some 1.6 million years ago. This young boy of about 9-12 years of age and 1.6 meters tall is the only almost complete skeleton of a human related fossil ever found in the world.

The statement comes as Kandie, who arrived in Berlin, Germany on Thursday ,launched her campaigns to position the nation as the origin of humankind, presenting a possibility for Kenya to host pilgrimages from all over the world.

Kandie who is leading the Kenyan trade from the tourism sector at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin said Kenya's story as the origin of humankind has gone unnoticed.

Also read: Tourism stakeholders blame poor business on travel advisories

"We are here today to announce to you that we shall be part of the nations hosting pilgrimages from all over the world but more importantly a pilgrimage to trace one's origin in Kenya," she said.

Over 40 travel trade from Kenya, including Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and scores of counties, are attending a four-day ITB tourism fair in Germany to showcase tourism products that country has to offer.

The Kandie called on the counties to identify their different uniqueness in terms of tourism product offerings in line with the strategy to showcase product diversity.

Kenya's core tourism products have been focused on beach and safari owing to the country's extended coast line of 480 km and abundance of wildlife.

However, the growing competitive nature of tourism and the continuously evolving tastes and preferences of consumers have put the country's promoted products to include adventure, culture, ecotourism, sports, golf, birding and business.

Despite their continued promotion, some of these identified products are yet to be packaged for tourism consumption thus presenting Kenya with the opportunity to further develop its product portfolio.

KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said Kenya is using the fair to send reassurance message to potential tourists of Kenya's safety owing to improved security. "We shall also push for the revision of travel advisories," added Ndegwa.

ITB is the world's leading travel trade show and one of the key international events that Kenya participates in annually. In 2014, ITB attracted a total of 10,147 companies and organizations form over 180 countries with 174,000 visitors.

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- Xinhua


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