Kenya is targeting to raise tourist arrivals from West Africa by pitching for business and leisure travel that are key interest to the region. Kenya Tourism Board Ag. CEO John Chirchir says that the West African market is integral in the strategy to diversify tourist source markets and broaden the country's destination portfolio.
In particular, he noted that Nigeria and Ghana, have shown improvements of 6% and 48% respectively in 2023 and rank among Kenya's potential markets in the African continent. He was speaking during a meeting held to mark the beginning of a series of roadshows in the Nigeria and Ghanian cities of Lagos, Abuja and Accra.
KTB and Kenya airways are leading over 15 travel trade companies for in-market activations set for February 5th-9th, 2024 and will be held in various cities of the two countries and is expected to attract over 400 trade partners.
"With around 1.4 billion people, Africa stands as one of the biggest source markets for trade, business, and tourism. We are starting off with West Africa with roadshows in Acra, Lagos and Abuja which are interesting emerging markets. During the activation, we expect the 17 Kenyan trade to engage in business meeting and direct engagements with potential travellers from the three cities. We cannot ignore the potential that the African Market has for tourism" Chirchir stated.
Chirchir also noted that the regular flights between African cities, the ease in travel restrictions and the Electronic Travel Authorization will make it easier for visitors to access Kenya. "We currently have regular direct Kenya Airways flights to the three cities. Additionally, other airlines connect Kenya with Accra, Abuja and Lagos.
The easing of travel restrictions and the Electronic Travel Authorization will also help us see a strong demand for outbound leisure and business travel from Nigeria and Ghana and other African countries. We look forward to building partnerships and marketing Kenya through these activations, "he remarked.
On his part, the Chairperson of the West Africa Roadshow, Consaga Khisa said, "The partnerships between KTB and the private sector are integral in our goals to improve tourism arrivals into Kenya. The Roadshows will provide an opportunity for the Kenyan trade to engage with about 400 West African travel agents and tour operators, showcase its products and service offering, and forge new partnerships that will drive growth."
He further highlighted that the engagements are significant, as they will enable travel agents and tour operators from both Nigeria and Ghana to gain valuable insights into the Kenyan tourism industry and the diverse range of experiences that Kenya has to offer.
The roadshows to West Africa come as KTB intensifies marketing efforts across the continent, which is emerging as an important source market for Kenya's tourism. According to statistics from the Tourism Research Institute (TRI), arrivals from Africa accounted for 651,152 visitors or 40.7% of total arrivals in the ten months to October 2023.