Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kenya Tourism Board announces "eyeing new markets" in Kuwait

Kenya's President, Uhuru Kenyatta (left) in Kuwait
Kenya’s tourism industry is now targeting new markets with a view to fulfilling the desire to grow the number of tourists visiting Kenya from the current average of 1 million to 3 million by the year 2015.
Speaking in Kuwait, the Principal Secretary for the East African Community, Commerce and Tourism Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed said the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and private sector players are also changing tact in how they sell Kenya as a destination to the new and potential markets.

He said one of the new marketing approaches that is already under implementation is the introduction of tailor-made packages that are informed by the specific areas of interest that people from a specific country look out for when they venture out as tourists.

“The numbers we are receiving today from Kuwait and the region are not as high as they should be. This is mainly because there is no proper awareness about Kenya’s distinct tourism products. Today, people are going to other destinations which have the same facilities and attractions we have in Kenya,” he said.

Dr. Mohamed added that the new marketing approaches that will be carried out by KTB, partners such as Kenya Airways and private sector players, will also deepen the understanding of attractions in Kenya, thereby positioning tourism on a rapid growth plan.

The Principal Secretary is among those accompanying President Uhuru Kenyatta on his first official trip to Kuwait, to attend the 3rd Africa Arab Summit, which is a forum where 71 Arab and African leaders have been exchanging views on how to boost the Arab-African cooperation in the fields of investment, security and agriculture.

Addressing the media in Kuwait, KTB’s Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said KTB will use its Market Development Representatives to carry out continuous research that will ensure that Kenya remains relevant to potential tourists from Kuwait.

“As Kuwaitis become more and more aware of the various travel opportunities available and as their appetite to explore new destinations grows, we see a positive situation where more Kuwaitis begin to explore Kenya as their new destination.” he said.

Muriithi added, “We expect a real leap in the number of visitors from the region in the coming years. We also look at ways of setting the ground for creating more awareness about our products and destinations, so that people can increasingly visit our destinations.”

Although there are no direct flights between Kenya and Kuwait yet, the two countries are interconnected Kenya and Kuwait are well served national carrier Kenya Airways, as well as several Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia and Etihad.

The tourism industry is one of the major contributors to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is currently estimated to be around 12 per cent. The GDP rate has been steadily increasing and it has a spill over effect on other segments of the economy as well.

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