How Kenya plans to market its tourism in 4 key Indian cities

Targets Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat and Bangalore among others.

In Summary

•The one –month long campaign is targeted at populated PAN India cities.

•The Asian country is among the top five market sources for Kenya’s international tourists.

Kenya Tourism Board CEO Dr Betty Radier in her office.
Kenya Tourism Board CEO Dr Betty Radier in her office.

Barely a month after hosting a group of Indian travel agents in Nairobi, on a famirilisation tour of the country’s tourism products, the country has made another move.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has commenced a joint promotional campaign with leading Indian travel agents targeting potential Indian travelers.

The partnership with FCM Travel Solutions India, Pvt Ltd and Yatra will aim to support tourism recovery in Kenya through building visitor confidence for Indian travelers to Kenya, the country’s lead tourism marketing body said.

The campaign will prioritise travelers into Kenya from India with each partner expected to provide maximum mileage on their platforms from potential clients with designed offers and curated itineraries.

The one –month long campaign is targeted at populated PAN India cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat and Bangalore among others, where most tourists come from.

The Asian country is among the top five market sources for Kenya’s international tourists.

Last year, the total international arrivals to Kenya, from India, was 42,159, the fifth highest after the US (136,981), Uganda (80,067), Tanzania (74,051) and UK (53,264).

This means without the East African Community (EAC) neighbours, India was the third top source outside Africa.

The Indian market will continue to play a significant role in the recovery of Kenya’s tourism sector, sector players in Kenya have said. 

The tourism arrival numbers during the period of Jan- April 2022 recorded a 55 per cent growth with 22,532 arrivals compared to 11,884 during the same period 2021.

The main purpose of visit by Indian travellers to Kenya is a combination of business and leisure.

This year, Kenya projects arrivals from India to be about 80,000.

KTB chief executive Betty Radier yesterday said: “With the full resumption of commercial flights between the two countries, we are exploring avenues of collaborations with key partners in travel to ensure that Magical Kenya is in the radar of potential visitor.”

The campaign, she said, will ensure that Kenya showcases the destination to millions of Indians who are looking for authentic experiences and adventures.

Radier added that partnership with operators was crucial because they have a direct contact with travelers and hence can influence decisions.

With over a billion people, India remains a key market that in the near future could move from an emerging to a key source market, she notes.

"We therefore need to harness this potential to pull more Indians visitors into Kenya, we shall work with more providers and agents to actualize this. Going forward, we want to further our efforts towards promoting Kenya as an ideal destination for people seeking a quality vacation or business or leisure trip," Radier said.

Through the partnership, over 300 passenger conversions to Kenya are expected through specialized packages and promotional tactics such as out-of-house marketing, push notifications, GDN and social media marketing.

Additionally, it will increase Kenya's brand awareness and generate enquiries in the market to boost arrival numbers from the India market.

Two years after the Covid-19 outbreak pushed India to impose one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the country has seen an end to all virus-related containment measures.

Even the pandemic is still a threat across the world, India has decided to open all economic activities similar to the pre-Covid times.

Already, over 1.9 billion Covid vaccines have been delivered in the country with at least 88 per cent of the population being vaccinated which is the largest number globally.

The Post-pandemic era in India is witnessing a growing need for personalisation and real-time connectivity, with an increasing number of Indians turning to travel agencies and trip planners, especially as they seek more affordable alternatives.

Currently, several small and mid-range travel agents are expecting operations to resume sooner than expected.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Kenya received 122,649 travelers from India with the destination already receiving a 55 percent improvement in numbers compared to last year during this period.

Other markets

Away from India, Kenya is on with its plans to tap into at least 10 markets, with a target of more than one million arrivals in total this year.

This is after a 53.3 per cent increase in the number of international arrivals last year which closed at 870,465 up from 567,848 in 2020.

The best year remains 2019 when the country recorded an all-time high arrival of 2.2 million international visitors.

The country is now focusing more on untapped markets , according to Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala says, majority being in Europe.

These include France, Sweden, Poland, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.

While they are not new markets, low marketing activities has denied the country to fully tap into them, with numbers remaining low.

Last year, arrivals were 18,771 (France), 10,107 (Sweden), 9,809 (Poland), 1,972 (Mexico), 2,572 (Israel), 1,809 (Iran), 3,376 (Australia), 6,535 (Switzerland), 12,928 (Netherlands) and 5,697 visitors from Belgium.

“We are gong to focus on untapped markets with aggressive marketing campaigns. Some of the markets have previously not ranked very highly but have potential to grow tremendously as we pursue full recovery,” Balala noted.

The ministry targets to have at least 1,027,151 international arrivals this year with earnings expected to increase to Sh172.9 billion, up from Sh146.5 billion last year.

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