KENYA TOURISM PICKS UP

The Kenyan government has launched an aggressive campaign to market Kenya tourism abroad with the country’s Minister for tourism visiting several countries in Europe. elephant

The aim is to re-brand Kenya as a tourist destination following a slump in the sector occasioned by the post election violence which crippled the country’s economy early this year.

“The aim is to reassure tourists in those countries that Kenya is back to normal and safer for tourists” says the minister adding “we want to tell the world that Kenya is still the best tourist destination. That we only went through a storm”.

Najib Balala, the tourism minister, has already visited Italy, Sweden, France, Britain and Germany among other countries. The country’s president, Mwai Kibaki, recently also took his time while on a working visit in Japan to market Kenya as a preferred tourist destination. Kibaki Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, have landed an invitation from British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to discuss further on how to revitalize the tourism industry in Kenya.

A television series to market Kenya in Italy via Rai television channel is already in place with the TV station airing the clip on Kenya tourism five times daily. The tourism ministry in collaboration with tour operators and the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) have also sponsored a 30 page inserts in an Italian newspaper to promote the Kenyan tourist market.

As part of promoting the Kenyan tourism sector, the European Union (EU) has donated 8 million Euros to revamp the sector after the political crisis which drastically reduced the number of tourist visiting the country. Tourism contributes significantly to the country’s economy and earns the country substantial foreign exchange annually.

Other strategies adopted to market Kenya include celebrities from Europe visiting the country’s attractions to endorse Kenya as a safe destination. They include Prince William, mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, and President of Rome Marathon, Enrico Castrucci, among others.
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Several European countries which had earlier issued a travel advisories to their citizens discouraging them from visiting Kenya, have since withdrawn the advisories and are now encouraging them to tour the country.

Kenya has major tourist attractions which include the world famous Masai Mara, Tsavo and Amboseli. There are also other attractions like the Masai cultural dancers and the sandy beaches along the coastal stretch.

By Ken Chelimo

Photos by: Thumbling, Angela7dreams

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