NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s tourism marketers had laid out plans to
regard Africa as a key regional market to grow its tourism
business, a senior official said.
Betty Radier, Kenya
Tourism Board (KTB) CEO, said on Thursday evening that Nairobi
is also partnering with the rest of East Africa to provide a
wider offering for travelers from the West African region led by
“We are actively
engaging with travel agents and tour operators in Nigeria to
expose them to the diverse tourist offering in Kenya and the
rest of East Africa that would be of interest to travelers from
Nigeria and the rest of West Africa,” Radier said on the
sidelines of the ongoing Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi.
bilateral discussions were ongoing between the tourism
ministries of Kenya and Sierra Leone to step up collaboration
and travel from Sierra Leone to Kenya.
About 150 tourism
buyers and 20 international media personalities are in the
country during the 3-day expo, which began on Wednesday.
Radier has said the
expo has enabled Kenya to bring together players in Africa’s
tourism sector to get a better insight of the diverse and
authentic tourism products that Kenya has to offer.
“We are encouraged
that the expo has over the last eight years grown into the ideal
platform for business-to-business meetings between leading
African products and top-producing global buyers,” she said.
This, Radier said,
serves to ensure continued business growth and development for
the tourism industry in Kenya.
She said the expo
which has drawn the participation of travel trade partners from
across the continent has helped Kenya to be part of efforts to
grow a unified brand for Africa as a destination.
According to the UN
World Tourism Organization, the number of Africa outbound market
will reach 62 million by 2030 as the continent gradually emerges
not only as a tourism destination but also as a tourist source
statistics from KTB, Africa is currently Kenya’s second biggest
source market by region, having contributed 29 percent of total
tourist arrivals to Kenya in 2017.
Kenya has stepped up
its marketing blitz to woo key source markets in the wake of a
decrease in tourist arrivals occasioned by a spate of insecurity
brought about by acts of terrorism from al-Shabab and travel
advisories issued by countries that provide key source markets.
According to KTB,
Uganda is Kenya’s top tourism source market in Africa, as it
commanded 6.4 percent of arrivals in 2017.
There were 61,542
arrivals from Uganda in 2017 up from 51,023 in 2016, according
to data from KTB.
Tourism is the
second largest source of foreign exchange revenue for Kenya
after tea, with the main tourist attractions being photo safaris
through national parks and game reserves, though the country has
been diversifying to other areas like eco-tourism, conference
tourism and cultural tourism.