By Brian Itava
The government of Kenya through the ministry of Tourism is looking to boost the level of international tourism in Kenya through major three strategies among them; revamp of tourism products, marketing, and investment.
Tourism besides being the backbone of Kenya’s economy, is the only sector that massively creates jobs for Kenyans. According to the Kenya Tourism Board, for every 10 tourists, one Kenyan is employed.
Speaking during the launch of a two-day tourism stakeholders in Nairobi, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for tourism Najib Balala said that the tourism industry, in support of private and public stakeholders must change the traditional products they offer to tourists.
“The problem here is the product, the product cannot be boring, the product cannot be a hotel room, and the client does not come to Kenya because of a good hotel bed, they come because of a holistic experience and it has to start from the airport, to the taxi driver…and also what they do outside the hotel” the CS said.
Balala promised that they are going to set up another tourism stakeholder’s convention to discuss on ways on how to improve the tourism products through the national parks.
The CS hinted on the new methods of marketing in the efforts to boost clientele for the tourism sector in Kenya saying that the country is moving from the normal marketing systems to incorporate digital approaches.
“Kenya will not participate at the world market exhibition anymore, it’s too costly and that is not a mode of getting clientele. We are going to create a digital platforms and digital strategies so we can all embrace it and use digital networks,” said Balala.
More over the CS mentioned investment and infrastructure as the compliment of the blueprint of the revolution wave expected to sweep the tourism sector in the country.
Infrastructures like airports are key. Look at SGR how much business it has created for tourism. Airports are key to connect destinations. We cannot pretend we want people to come but we are not improving our airports or we have too many conditions for airlines to come to our country,” the CS said.
3.5 million tourist arrivals is well documented in Morocco annually at a time when the country had a restricted air service but the figure rose to 11.5 after they opened their skies. Kenya is looking to have more tourism arrivals after the opening of the skies pact signed by 23 African countries in Addis Ababa in which Kenya partook.
In efforts to implementation of the open skies for aviation safety and tourism development, Kenya will be having its first direct flight to the United States on October 28th of 2018.