Kenya Looks East In A Bid To Increase Tourist Numbers

For a long time Kenya has heavily marketed itself as a premium tourist destination in the western market of Europe and USA. However last year the country experienced a 0.3 percent decline from this market due to insecurity and the Euro Zone crisis. As a result the Kenya tourism board is changing strategy on how they sell Kenya to new and potential market. Yes Kenya is going East.

On Monday the Kenya tourism marketing board officials embarked on a week long campaign to woo tourists from the Middle East. This campaign aims to lift the number of tourists visiting Kenya from one million to three million annually by tapping on the rest of Africa and Middle East market.

The KTB officials are on a tour of Kuwait city, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. KTB has said these cities and especially Kuwait have shown all the indicators of contributing to Kenya’s tourism growth as Kenya turns to emerging markets and Africa for more tourists.

“Kuwait is potential to us and this is the beginning of our efforts to tapping into the market that is interested in luxury travel”, says KTB acting Regional Marketing manager in charge of Africa Fatma Bashir.

KTB has also leveraged on all opportunity to engage select media in all these cities with a view of equipping them with information on Kenya’s tourism products so that they are able to report from a point of knowledge.

KTB is meeting about 200 travel agents in these cities to interest them to sell Kenya.

Kenya’s Ambassador to Kuwait Mohammed Mahat challenged KTB to persist in it’s presence in the market by dedicating time and resources in order to increase destination awareness and get a fair share of Kuwait’s potential.

“Kenya has an authentic product that is thrill and experience for those who visit. We are the home of authentic safari and this was endorsed by being voted ‘Best Safari Destination 2013′ by the World Travel Awards in December, 2013,”he said.

The envoy assured Kuwait residents of smooth visa process and Kenya’s versatility as a tourist destination.

“Besides beach and wildlife, this market is interested in honeymooning in Kenya, adventure including water sports like snorkeling, quality accommodation, culture and all that is uniquely Kenyan.

Ambassador Mahat assured participants that all efforts were in place to ensure that kenya remains safe and urged the tour operators not to judge Kenya harshly by last year’s terrorism attack .
“We have continued to reassure the market of Kenya’s safety and her conducive business for tourism business and other economic activities”, says the ambassador.


Proudly African, Believer,Dreamer and an enthusiast of the environment. Sharon is a third year Ecotourism student at Egerton University. She has passion for conservation and tourism and a burning need to share it with the world ; her motivation to write.


  1. Kenya has a greater potential of becoming the world’s best tourist destination if only it can diversify its tourism products to avoid overexploitation of the already existing products like wildlife and beach tourism.

  2. I definitely agree diversification of our tourism products will go a long way in making Kenya a premium tourist destination. I think the relevant stakeholders should invest in this

  3. Much as everyone is looking East to bolster tourist numbers, I have always had my reservations about this particular market. One of the biggest threats to tourism in Kenya is poaching and we all know poaching is fuelled by the great demand for ivory in the East. Long story short looking East is like granting the top ivory market more access to our dwindling wildlife population.

  4. come to think of this
    .actually on the -ve side,it can be a gateway to increasing poaching activities since our brothers from the east are notorious for ivory trade

    • Au contaire I think this will actually be the solution to this poaching menace by partnering with these countries may discourage poachers as there will be laws governing this.

      • If only we put our house in order here in Kenya then maybe yes, there could be hope in partnering with the Eastern Countries. Ivory trade is deeply rooted in the East and if we don’t tread carefully we might be partnering with the dealers themselves.

        • So true but part of the problem is that there isn’t enough partnering with the Eastern countries who have plenty of man power and resources to prevent poaching plus they can help in the prosecution of the poachers

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