The ministry of tourism and wildlife services has outlined a raft of tourism recovery strategies post covid-19.
Tourism principal secretary Zainab Hussein on Monday said the covid-19 pandemic brought the tourism sector to its knees hence the need to resuscitate it.
Speaking when she launched the bodaboda registration exercise in Kilifi County, Hussein said tourism numbers dwindled in 2020 from over 2 million tourists in 2019 to slightly above 600, 000.
“In 2021 when some of the containment measures were lifted we received about one million tourists to the country. This year we have started receiving bookings, especially from the month of July to August. We are optimistic the numbers will hit where we were in 2019,” she said.
Hussein said the ministry would start marketing the country to countries that do not bring tourists to Kenya.
“The country depends on tourists from England and America but we are now adding India, Japan and China, and the rest of Europe. We are doing a rigorous campaign to make sure we get tourists from these countries,” she said.
The ministry is also adding tourist destinations away from wildlife and sandy beaches at the coast.
“Instead of only busking on the sand beaches at the coast, we want to tell tourists that they can go snorkeling at the south coast. They can also swim with the dolphins in Watamu. We also want to tell them that apart from the wild beast migration at Mara, we also have whale migration in Lamu and dolphin migration in Watamu. This is the campaign we are focusing on,” she said
She said the ministry has set a focus on convention and business travel.
“This is a new frontier that we are taking very seriously. We will set a budget to market Kenya as a convention destination. We expect to host many conventions and international conferences,” she said.
The other strategy the ministry has employed is sports tourism.
“We are known worldwide as the best marathoners, and so we are targeting sports tourism that will focus on world rally championship, our sportsmen, and everything that Kenya is known to be experts in the field,” said Hussein.
The Principal Secretary said the Ministry also unveiled signature experiences and has tasked hoteliers to state why a tourist should visit their hotels.