Kenya on recovery path as incentives package start paying off

 

KTB has projected a 14 percent rise in the number of tourists visiting the country in 2017.

Traditionally Kenya’s tourism sector has been relying on western tourists from United States, United Kingdom and France but a spate of insecurity attacks at the coast forced many countries to issue travel advisories to their citizens dealing Kenya a blow.

The travel advisories prompted the government to embark on an aggressive marketing campaign to woo domestic tourists and keep the tourism sector afloat.

Among the incentives the government offered to the domestic tourists was waiving visa fee for children below 16 years to attract family visitors to Kenya and reducing park fees to 60 US $.

Last year 3.6 million beds were taken up by Kenyans compared to 3.1 million in 2015 according to KTB statistics.

KTB CEO, Betty Radier says the numbers can still greatly improve if only Kenyans change their attitudes and explore other local tourist’s destinations as well.

“You will find locations that are literary virgin locations that even our visitors from international markets have not been able to discover” Radier said.

Kenya has one of the biggest and most diverse tourism industries in East Africa, with  tourists spoilt for choice from a wide range of offerings including the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) segment and safari ecotourism.

Most Kenyans holiday vacations is normally heading down to Mombasa especially during the feastive season and therefore neglecting other tourists attractions located in kenya’s inland.

Conference tourism also performed exceptionally well in 2016 with Kenya hosting a number of international conference such as World Trade Organisation which resulted in the hospitality industry recording full bookings.

Cruise tourism is steadily picking up as well and last week Kenya announced plans to co-own a cruise ship with South Africa by 2020.

Kenya’s tourism sector has been on a path to recovery since 2013, when a spate of terror related attacks saw tourist numbers dwindle.

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