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Kenya eager to see more tour arrivals from China

By EDITH MUTETHYA in Nairobi, Kenya | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-10-30 09:19

Chinese tourists interact with Maasai performers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb 11, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Kenya Tourism Board is planning to hold roadshows in China as part of the eastern African country's global marketing strategy to market it as a top tourist destination.

The board, with the Kenya Chinese Tourism Association, plans to hold roadshows in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou from Nov 8 to 13 to market Kenya as a year-round destination among Chinese tourists, offering a diverse range of authentic experiences.

John Chirchir, acting chief executive of Kenya Tourism Board, said China is among the top six key source markets for arrivals to Kenya, noting that visitor arrivals from the Asian country have recorded a remarkable growth in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

He said that from January to August this year, visitor arrivals from China grew 154 percent, translating to 34,638 visitors, up from 13,601 recorded in the same period last year.

For the roadshows, Chirchir said about 15 officials from Kenya's airlines, hotels, tour companies and Kenya Wildlife Service will join 150 tour operators in China.

The shows will involve business-to-business sessions between travel trade officials from Kenya and tour operators from China.

He said the roadshows will be a good opportunity for Kenyan tour operators to reconnect with their counterparts in China and get to understand the tourists' interests and preferences.

"Apart from the roadshow, we have a number of other activities that are lined up. We have the joint airlines partnership campaigns which are coming up after the shows. This means we collaborate with key airlines to run campaigns," he said.

Chirchir said the board is keen on holding consumer campaigns. This is in addition to visiting different cities to meet key tour operators.

The Kenya Tourism Board has scheduled the Magical Kenya Roadshow series from October to April 2024 in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America to market Kenya as a top tourist destination.

Last month, Kenya's President William Ruto said his government is considering abolishing visa requirements for travelers visiting Kenya to increase arrivals.

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