NAIROBI– Kenya needs to undertake a diverse tourism product development to make the country more appealing to the modern day tourist, as well as to develop its infrastructure and change its marketing strategy to become a world class destination, says the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Tourism, Najib Balala.

This is based on a research carried out by two international consultants whose findings will be rolled out in the next three months, he said here over the weekend.

The ministry of tourism recorded a 20.3 per cent growth in tourism earnings last year to 120 billion shillings (about 1.19 billin US dollars) from 99.69 billion shillings in 2016.

Over the years, however, Kenya has been offering a limited tourism product which is mainly based on beach and wildlife tourism.

The research has identified four key areas which can transform the tourism industry to turn Kenya into a world class destination and has recommended expanding the tourism product development to fit the demand of the modern day tourist, development of infrastructure and changing the marketing strategy to grow tourists numbers.

Meanwhile, players in the tourism industry are angling to reap big rewards from participation in one of Europe’s largest tourism trade shows with 42 Kenyan travel trade mmbers set to showcase their products at the Berlin ITB Expo to be held from March 7 to 11.

The trade expo will give the Kenyan trade an opportunity to network with top travel agents as well as obtain the latest intelligence on global tourism trends. Europe is the leading tourist source market for Kenya, accounting for a 36 per cent share of the total international arrivals to Kenya in 2017.

The German market is ranked at position six and is among the most resilient source markets for Kenya.

By the close of 2017, the German market recorded a 13.2 per cent increase in arrivals to 49,247 visitors compared with 43,502 travellers in 2016.