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More Chinese tourists flock Kenya after Jack Ma's visit

Tour operators have seen a sharp rise in Chinese visitors after Jack Ma's recent visit to the country.

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The recent visit of Alibaba founder Jack Ma to Kenya has handed the tourism sector a major boost with more international tourists from China set to flock the country in September.

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Leading Chinese tour operators say they have recorded a rise in holiday booking enquiries about Kenya from their clients since the Chinese tycoon visited the country a few weeks ago.

The travel agents, who sell Kenya to the Chinese market, see Mr Ma’s visit as a major boost and an endorsement to their campaigns of wooing Chinese holidaymakers to the country.

“As a result of Jack Ma’s visit, our task of marketing Kenya in China has become easier,” said Vivien Zhang, co-founder of Travel Service Bigeyes International.

“At the moment, more Chinese tourists are interested in coming to Kenya for holidays than before,” she added.

The sentiments were shared by other travel wholesalers for Africa and Middles East during the Kenya Tourism Board’s (KTB) marketing tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The tourism board is planning to produce a video about Kenya’s tourism products specifically targeted at the Chinese market as it seeks to woo more holidaymakers from the populous country.

“By the end of April this year, the country received 14,029 tourists from China up from 10,407 in the same period last year, an increase of 34.8 per cent,” KTB boss Betty Radier said.

Last year, international tourist arrivals from China to the country grew by 60.7 per cent to hit 47,860, up from 29,790 arrivals the previous year.

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