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Industry Pushes for Tourism Recovery
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 4 Aug 14

Tourism continues on a downturn for the second year in a row due to multiple factors, key of which is security incidents which have resulted in not only negative travel advisories against specific areas of the country but also negative publicity, causing uncertainty in the country's source markets and leading to drop in tourist arrivals. This has seen booking cancellations and tremendous drop in forward bookings compared to last year, translating ultimately into huge losses for the economy, with the tourism industry as the immediate casualty as it grapples with low occupancy, drop in revenues against huge investment and operating costs; job losses as the labour intensive sector endevours to check operating costs; and loss of business for tourism suppliers, from the largescale manufacturers to the small scale enterpreneurs including curio dealers and vendors.

In its engagement with Tourism Regulatory Authority which recently came into operation, KTF is pushing for the authority to address existing gaps in collection of tourism data to enable holistic capture of data and establish accurate figures on tourism contribution to the economy, which will in turn form basis for calls to government to accord tourism due recognition and support.

Despite being the second highest foreign exchange earner contributing about 11% of GDP, the government is yet to act decisively to address the current crisis facing the sector. Instead, the industry is grappling with an unconducive business environment with the implementation of VAT on tourism services, leading to price uncompetitiveness as the new levy is factored into pricing; inadequate funding for tourism marketing and uncertainty over the future of the tourism marketing agency of government, Kenya Touism Board.

As the industry continues to engage with the government to improve the business environment, the tourism industry under the umbrella Kenya Tourism Federation has taken intiative to support sector recovery through:

Why I Love Kenya Campaign - the industry was integral to the development of the concept for this campaign, and continues to anchor the campaign by sharing through Facebook, Twitter and blogs the beauty of the destination, amazing photographs and positive customer feedback; shedding light on the positive so as to protect the destination image.

 

Marketing - The generous support of the industry made possible the success of recent FAM trips for travel journalists from the source markets including USA, France, UK and Russia, expected to generate positive coverage of immense PR value and counter negative coverage of the destination in these markets.

 

The industry generously contributed all inclusive packages, from transportation including air charter, to luxury accomodation and safaris. For this generous gesture, the industry has been highly commended by the cabinet secretary in charge of Tourism among other stakeholders.

 

At the Magical Kenya race day event held at Ngong racecourse on 19th -20th July, the industry, through KTF, took the opportunity to interact with participants many of whom were locals, and engaged them through various media including publications with the message encouraging them to travel and discover their country and take advantage of existing offers for domestic tourists.

 

Several industry operators have put together offers targeting the domestic market with discounted rates to encourage domestic tourism to bridge the gap occassioned by the drop in international arrivals. Operators with such offers can take advantage of the ‘Magical Kenya' website for additional publicity. To have your offers posted on the website, operators should contact KTB on ......

 

Safety: The industry runs a safety communication coordination centre, KTF-SCC, operational 24/7 to provide assistance to tourists and tourism operators during emergencies. Through KTF-SCC the industry regularly provides visitors and stakeholders with destination updates providing accurate account of reported incidents to dispel undue fear caused by inaccurate, speculative or irresponsible tone of reporting by the media.

 

Kenya remains a choice destination as evidenced in Nairobi's new status as the environment capital of the World with the upgrade of the former UN Environment Programme in Nairobi to a full UN agency status; and proudly hosted the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)on 23rd-27th June, with dignitaries including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Prince Albert of Monaco and  representatives of 162 UN member states in attendance. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner remarked that Kenya is still a ‘preferred hub for international meetings'.


Other General News Highlights
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»3 Mar 17Safety and Security Tips While traveling in Kenya
»28 Feb 17East Africa Tourism Portal Goes Live
»18 Jan 17Phase II of KTF's Tourism Economic Research Approved
»18 Jan 17ASTA Destination Expo 2017, Nairobi, Feb 24-26
»22 Nov 16Register and Participate Alongside Kenya Tourism Board at the Annual Diplomatic Bazaar - Addis Ababa, 10th December
»12 Oct 16Announcing the Shortlist for Kenya Eco Warrior Awards
»15 Sep 16New Consumer Ad Campaign by KTB this October
»17 Aug 16Budding MICE Industry a Catalyst for Tourism
»12 Aug 16KTF Chairperson Meets with Official of US Embassy
»12 Aug 16Proposed Multi-Stakeholders Collaboration in the Greater Tsavo Conservation Area
»12 Aug 16Strengthening KTF Institutional Capacity
»4 Jul 16Branding Partnership with Kenya Airways to Raise Magical Kenya Brand Visibility
»20 Jun 16Over 35 Countries to Attend Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2016
»13 Jun 16The Ministerial Roundtable on Tourism, 14th April
»25 Apr 165th Double Win for Kenya at London Marathon
»25 Apr 16Tourism Stakeholders Safety & Security Training
»12 Apr 16Kenya’s Green Destinations Guidelines Pilot Nears Completion
»12 Apr 16Concern over Deaths of Lions Straying Outside the Nairobi National Park
»15 Feb 16A Skating Adventure for Nature Lovers:
»15 Feb 16Great Lakes Private Sector Forum
»12 Jan 16Multiple Nods for Kenya as One of the Best Destinations for 2016:
»12 Jan 16Events Calendar
»12 Jan 16Overview of arrivals data released by KTB for the period January - November 2015:
»4 Sep 15UNWTO Demonstrates Confidence in Kenya, and in Particular, Mombasa, as a Safe Tourist Destination
»20 Aug 15'Why I Love Kenya' Campaign Update
»18 Apr 15The New Terminal 2 Increases JKIA Passenger Capacity by 2.5 million Annually
»18 Apr 15KTB in Global Advertising Campaign to Woo Back Tourists
»18 Mar 15KTF & Utalii College Sign Agreement to Provide Tourism Security Training
»17 Mar 15UK High Commissioner Dr. Turner Visits the KTF Stand at the Inaugural Africa Travel Show
»25 Feb 15Kenya Wild Fest 2015
»31 Jan 15KTF Seeks Private Sector Common Position on Laikipia County Tourism Bill
»1 Jan 15KTF 2014 Highlights
»10 Dec 14KTF to Host Media Training on the Single Tourist Visa
»1 Dec 14REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO CONDUCT BASELINE SURVEY ON AWARENESS OF THE SINGLE TOURIST VISA AND USE OF NATIONAL ID FOR CROSS BORDER TRAVEL.
»5 Nov 14KTF Providing Logistics for Tourism Trade Members to Attend 39th ATA Congress & Jaguza International Tourism Expo
»30 Sep 14Instant Fines Announced by Narok County Government to Deter Users from Violating MMNR Regulations
»30 Sep 14KTF Urges Closer Working Ties Between Tourism Industry and the Foreign Missions
»30 Sep 14World tourism day/Kenya Tourism Week
»30 Sep 14Tourism Fund Brand Officially Launched
»27 Aug 14George Adamson’s indomitable lion spirit lives, 25 years later
»27 Aug 14Invitation to participate at the Kenya Stand at World Travel Market,3–6th November 2014
»4 Aug 14Ecotourism Kenya Welcomes New Members, New Facilities Earn Gold Eco Certification
»30 Jun 14Tourism Regulatory Authority Constituted and Operational
»30 Jun 14Tourism Recovery Facing Many Hurdles
»30 Jun 14Kenya Hosts 1st United Nations Environment Assembly at Gigiri, Nairobi,23rd-27th June
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