Kenya is targeting to attract two million tourists in three years’ time with the implementation of an aggressive marketing campaign and the lifting of travel advisories against visits to this country by foreign governments.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Najib Balala, who is leading the Kenyan delegation attending this year’s International Tourism Bourse being held in Berlin from March 9 to 13, says tourist numbers will also be lifted by the various incentives Kenya has rolled out.
The expo has attracted the participation of 42 exhibitors from Kenya’s private sector and selected government agencies.
Kenya’s tourism sector has been battered by travel advisories imposed by the United States and Europe following a series of terrorist attacks orchestrated by the Somalia-based militant group, Al-Shabaab which has resulted in the number of foreigners visiting Kenya plummeting.
Figures released by the Kenya Tourism Board for the January-November 2015 period indicate that air arrivals at Nairovi’s Jomo Kenyatta and Mombasa’s Moi international airports declined by 12.2 per cent year-on-year from 787,000 to 691,000 visitors.
Balala said the number of foreigners visiting Kenya would recover with improved security and the aggressive marketing campaign. He told the meeting in Berlin that the government had rolled out an incentive programme targeting chartered flights landing at Kenyan airports and cruise ships docking at the port of Mombasa.
Under this programme, the government has waived landing fees for charter aircraft with 80 per cent of the passengers terminating in Mombasa and Malindi for the next two years.