The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has been leading a delegation of 18 players drawn from across Kenya’s tours and travel industry on a one-week roadshow across the United States of America (USA) and Canada.
The roadshow focused on cities in the East and West Coast that have been identified as hub cities. Among the cities that were covered during the roadshow were the Canadian city of Toronto, as well as the U.S. cities of New York and Boston in the East Coast as well as San Francisco and San Jose on the West Coast.
Speaking ahead of the start of the roadshow, KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr Betty Radier said the roadshow provided a platform for Kenya’s travel trade to position Kenya as a safari destination of choice that is also developing new experiences for new customer segments.
Dr Radier said, “The roadshow presented a platform for Kenya’s travel trade to conduct business with the U.S. trade to inspire them to sell more of Kenya. As our top source market, KTB is focused on increasing demand from North American markets.”
Dr. Radier further said the roadshow also aimed at increasing awareness of Kenya Airways’ planned direct flight from Nairobi to New York with a view to creating more opportunities and incentive for travel to Kenya.
“The KQ direct flight to the US will substantially boost Kenya’s global profile as a tourism destination as it will provide a shorter, quicker and more affordable connection for tourists and business travellers coming to Kenya,” said Dr Radier.
Kenyan travel trade delegation, which includes Kenya Airways, met over 200 U.S. and Canadian travel trade in order to develop relationships that are envisaged to lead to increased tourist arrivals and revenues for Kenya.
During the roadshow, KTB’s Regional Marketing Manager in charge of the Canada and US markets, John Chirchir made presentations to update the U.S. and Canadian trade on Destination Kenya’s experiences ranging from wildlife safari, culture and heritage, adventure, and special occasions. The road show came to a close at New York City on Friday 16th March 2018 with Kenyan participants upbeat about the opportunity to have direct links with various tourism business owners.
The U.S. is Kenya’s top tourist source market, commanding a market share of 11.8% of total arrivals to Kenya in 2017. 114,507 tourists from the U.S. market visited Kenya between January and December 2017. This represented a growth of 17% over the 97,883 arrivals registered between January and December 2016.
Tourist arrivals from Canada in 2017 were 21,760, representing a 10 percent growth over 19,790 arrivals recorded in 2016.
The growth in the US share of tourists visiting Kenya is attributable to substantial marketing investment undertaken by KTB in the U.S. market through online sales promotions campaigns, online consumer advertising supported by publicity initiatives, roadshows, sales calls and participation/hosting key trade events, online travel agents training, trade familiarization trips and Business-to-Business engagements around Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE).