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Kenya launches program aimed at attracting West African tourists

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Colourful: The women of the San tribe make their colourful beads from ostrich egg shells and make extra money by selling them to tourists
Colourful: The women of the San tribe make their colourful beads from ostrich egg shells and make extra money by selling them to tourists

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), the country’s marketing agency, said Thursday that its target is to boost tourist arrivals from West Africa by promoting both business and leisure travel.

During a meeting marking the beginning of a series of roadshows in Nigeria and Ghana, acting KTB chief executive officer John Chirchir highlighted the integral role of the West African market in the strategy to diversify tourist source markets and broaden Kenya’s destination portfolio.

Nigeria and Ghana have shown improvements in tourist arrivals, with 6 percent and 48 percent increases, respectively, in 2023, ranking them among Kenya’s potential markets on the continent, Chirchir said.

The KTB and Kenya Airways are leading over 15 travel trade companies for in-market activations scheduled for Feb. 5-9 in various cities of Nigeria and Ghana, expecting to attract over 400 trade partners.

Chirchir anticipated that the Kenyan traders would engage in business meetings and direct interactions with potential travelers from Lagos, Abuja and Accra.

He noted that regular flights between African cities, ease in travel restrictions, and the Electronic Travel Authorization will make it easier for visitors to access Kenya.

Consaga Khisa, chairperson of the West Africa Roadshow, emphasized the importance of partnerships between KTB and the private sector in improving tourism arrivals in Kenya.

“The roadshows will provide an opportunity for the Kenyan trade to engage with about 400 West African travel agents and tour operators, showcase products and service offerings, and forge new partnerships that will drive growth,” Khisa said.

The move comes as the KTB intensifies marketing efforts across the continent, with Africa emerging as an important source market for Kenya’s tourism. According to statistics from the Tourism Research Institute, arrivals from Africa accounted for 651,152 visitors, or 40.7 percent, of total arrivals from January to October in 2023.

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