Kenya eyes North American Market to boost tourists figures
The USA is traditionally Kenya’s leading tourism source market. The market recorded the highest arrivals into Kenya with 108,072 visitors contributing 16.3% of the total arrivals between January to October, 2021.
Kenya is banking on the North American Market to boost its international tourism numbers and hasten the sector’s recovery, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said.
The country is among destinations promoting their tourism products and offerings in this year’s United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) Annual Conference & Marketplace that will close its curtains tomorrow at Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego.
The conference with 144 active members across the globe provides a forum to meet with top tourism executives, Tour Operator members on a one-to-one basis. Participants also get the chance to gain invaluable insights into the North American travel market and the latest factors and trends affecting the industry and travellers across the globe.
In his recorded message to the conference, CS Balala said the Covid-19 pandemic has taken toll on the travel sector and called for concerted efforts towards its mitigation even as travels resume.
He said the conference comes at a time when more synergies were required among players in the sector to protect the gains recorded in the tourism business in the recent past.
With most people from the US and the larger Europe vaccinated, there is now a great urge for travellers to venture out and experience the world. We want to be at the forefront during these considerations. As North Americans look to travel to Africa during their next big vacation, there is an opportunity to create greater travel interest in Kenya.
This interest will be the basis of returning our numbers or even improving them in the future” commented the CS.
The CS also noted that Kenya would leverage the opportunity to rally the US travel trade and stakeholders participating in the event to support conservation efforts, highlighting the Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival which aims to raise funds towards the conservation of Elephants in the destination.
The destinations marketer, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) which is a keynote sponsor of the 2021 USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace will have an opportunity to address the gathering during the opening session and will have a full appointment schedule with tour operators present.
KTB CEO Dr Betty Radier says “participation in this event presents us with an opportunity to influence greater consideration for Kenya as a tourism destination among U.S travellers. We shall also have an opportunity to speak about Kenya’s unique selling propositions including the direct flight to New York and other developments in the destination such as improved transport infrastructure,” said Dr Radier.
Kenya enjoys non-stop access from the market with 5-weekly flights from JFK to Nairobi scheduled by Kenya Airways from December 2021. Airline access remains critical to the sector’s growth, with several carriers offering one-stop services into Nairobi from US gateways including Qatar Airways.
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