Kenya is watching growing intra-Africa tourism pie and hosting tour operators

KTB managing director Dr. Betty Radier takes on the archery experience at The Forest Adventure in Kireita. [Courtesy]

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has stepped up its efforts to market Kenya to the rest of Africa by targeting key source markets in the region.

On board the Tamarind Dhow in Mombasa County, KTB Corporate Affairs Manager Wausi Walya, who represented Chief Executive Betty Radier, said the move would increase tourist arrivals at a time when global tourism is suffering from the effects of Covid-19.

“There is immense potential in both the regional and the African market that we are trying to conquer. One of them is hosting introductory trips like this one and enticing the travel industry to try what Magical Kenya has to offer, ”she said.

Walya spoke at a special cocktail for 15 tour operators from Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia who participated in a week long product tasting from Kenya’s popular tourist destinations.

Positive growth

The visitors were in Nairobi, Nanyuki, the Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Diani, Malindi and Watamu to see the various tourist attractions. Before Covid-19, tourism on the continent was on a positive growth path.

Travel experts say tourism on the continent has increased 8.6 percent in recent years, compared to a global average of seven percent.

Tourism in Africa is considered to be the fastest growing market in the world. Walya also stressed the need to realize more growth and collaboration among Africa’s tourist destinations in order to realize the continent’s potential.

She noted that promoting intra-Africa tourism could at the same time catalyze the creation of opportunities within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Kenya Airways General Manager for Kenya and North Africa Rose Kiseli promised to support the sector with flexible bookings and ticket prices. “We are seeing increasing acceptance from passengers flying now, with June this year being the best. People are becoming more confident about traveling. Airlifts are now on average between 60 and 65 percent, ”she said. The agents praised the country’s tourism, with Laura Kagame, head of Travelneza Uganda, highlighting the unique hotel environment.

Alpine Travels from Rwanda Marketing Manager Niyonzima Fred praised the Nairobi-Mombasa Madaraka Express passenger train service and said it allows tourists to see the scenic wildlife of Tsavo.

Danex Tours and Travels’ Ethiopian managing director Daniel Melaku said tourists were very keen to visit the beach market popular with Ethiopian tourists.

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