NAIROBI– Kenya is looking to tap into growing intra-Africa travel to expand its tourism sector as African countries seek to create a cntinental Free Trade Area (FTA), says Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala.
He noted that Kenya’s tourism industry was increasingly reaping rewards from the strong business, cultural and linguistic ties between African countries which have made the intra-regional travel a vibrant growth market.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 61st Africa Regional Conference of the United nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional being held in Abuja, Nigeria, Balala said: In 2017, Africa accounted for 29 per cent of international arrivals to Kenya. Indeed, Africa has shown great potential over the last five years, gaining a 5.0 per cent share of arrivals by region over the past five years. We believe Africa is the next frontier in the tourism business.
Balala, who is also the Chairman of the UNWTO Commission for Africa, credited this to Kenya’s increased investment in African markets such as Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Rwanda over the last three years.
As part of that investment, Africans wishing to visit Kenya are now eligible to receive a visa on arrival. Kenya is now among 21 African countries which have either relaxed or scrapped visa rules, said Balala.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has rolled out an upskilling training programme targeted at emerging travel agents in Nigeria who are making the transition from ticketing agents to travel agents. The training programme entails two-day workshops to be held in the cities of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt over the next one week.
Speaking at the launch of the training programme, Balala said it would deliver practical skills to the Nigeria trade that will result in better packages, sales and promotion of packages around Kenya’s tourism product.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK