Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has set aside over 140 million shillings ($1,532,399) for global advertisement campaigns as part of the recovery efforts to revive the sector that has recorded a drop in the recent past.
Speaking at the 2015 International Tourism Bourse (ITB), in Berlin Germany, KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the campaigns to be undertaken both below and above the line media platforms will kick off from next month.
“The media campaigns will showcase diversity of the destination in tourism product offerings mostly in our key source markets in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and the rest of the potential markets to Kenya” said Ndegwa.
He was speaking at the sidelines of the ITB exhibition in Berlin where Kenya is represented by over 40 travel trade led by East African Affairs Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Phylis Kandie to showcase Kenya’s tourism products.
Insecurity and perceived Ebola threats have negatively impacted on the Kenyan destination leading to low tourism activities especially at the coastal region. Last week, Tourism Recovery Task Force handed over their report to Kandie detailing on recovery efforts that the government should give priority so as to revive the sector.
But yesterday Ndegwa exuded confidence that the campaigns and reassurance messages that have been put in motion would help in restoring back the sector whose performance dropped by -21% last year compared to 2013.
“Further to these global media campaigns, KTB has also allocated over 15 million shillings towards charter airline promotions and volume tour operators so as to improve on traffic to the destination,” added Ndegwa.
He noted that the coastal region has been badly hit by a drop in tourist numbers with scores of charters withdrawing their from Mombasa route. “We shall partner with tour operators, charters and airlines for special offers with a view to creating interest for visitors to travel to Kenya” explained Ndegwa.
Countries targeted for the charter campaigns include Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, UK and Czech Republic.
Travel trade in ITB used the opportunity to reassure tourists on the resumption of tourism business and appealed to the foreign missions in the key source markets to revise their travel advisories.
“We have clarified on issues regarding Ebola threats and security measures the government has put in place to secure its citizens and visitors alike and we hope to see positive results,” says Turkana County Executive Member Linus Ebenyo.
Kenya also seized the opportunity to launch her campaigns to position the Nation as the origin of humankind, presenting a possibility for Kenya to host pilgrimages from all over the world. Kenya will next month unveil the Turkana boy in Turkana County as part of the efforts to brand the country as the origin of humankind.
For this campaigns to work, several tourist analysts argue the Kenyan online community has to be involved as charity begins at home. If bloggers and social media gurus in the country are writing negative things about Kenya, international ad campaigns won’t help much.