Mombasa, KENYA: Stakeholders in tourism sector in Kenya were on Monday urged to tap in new markets so as to grow the tourism industry.
Speaking during the Kenya Tourism Board stakeholder’s forum in Mombasa, Regional Coordinator of the East Africa tourism platform Ms. Carmen Nibigira said Kenya needs to expand its market from domestic to an international destination for tourism, by tapping into new tourism products development.
“Already Kenya is investing in domestic tourism but that is not enough, Uganda is leading in source market in the region, we have also learnt that Ethiopia has concentration of experts after Geneva – Newyork. We need to look for new market and new trends.” She said.
She also added that Charter flights only serve as temporary solutions and more should be done.
“The charter flight is a temporary solution for long term solution we are talking about open sky policy, we have learnt that 21 flights serve per week in Mombasa, namely Turkish, Rwanda and Ethiopian connecting Mombasa to several destinations worldwide, Kenya Airways cannot do that alone.” She observed.
Ms. Nibigira further challenged both the private and public sectors to make sure that they make use of every opportunity they get so as to satisfy the East African market.
“Our message to the stakeholders is to look at solution, who is designing the product for them? Who is actually taking to them and how are we packaging the product? We need to start thinking on how to build synergies, collaboration and also harness what we have here. But we have not seen really significant effort in terms of investment, marketing and aggressive promotion.” She concluded.
Mr. Jimi Kariuki chairman Kenya Tourism Board said the decrease of more than 50 percent of tourists visiting Kenya is a blow to the tourism sector.
“it’s about us saying to the private sector in the coast, we are in this recovery journey together, lets come up with some ideas that can support bringing a little bit more life back to the Coast, because from 200,000 arrivals in 2011 to 78,000 in 2015 is an absolute disaster.”He said.