•He said the country must diversify if it is to grow the sector, which remains a key foreign exchange earner.
•He has been pushing for more offerings away from the traditional beach and Safari that the country has been banking on for years.
Kenya’s tourism sector must expand its product and experience offerings as the industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said.
In his World Tourism Day message, the CS said the country must diversify if it is to grow the sector, which remains a key foreign exchange earner.
Balala has been pushing for more offerings away from the traditional beach and Safari that Kenya is famed for, with his recent focus being on highly-personalised products and experience.
The include Humpback Whale watching, kayaking expedition, kite surfing, mountaineering, yoga, rafting activities, vintage safari, home stays, village bike tour experience in Diani, cycling in the Mara, golfing, forest adventures, zip-lining among others.
“We need to rethink better. Travellers don’t travel because they don’t have better beds or homes. We need to give them experiences that are memorable, make them come back again…and again,” Balala said.
His sentiments come ahead of next week’s Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) which has attracted participants from 35 countries across the globe.
The three-day expo to be held between October 5-7 brings together 160 hosted buyers and over 200 exhibitors from some of Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Kenya Tourism Board CEO Betty Radier says that the expo, which will be hosted at the Bomas of Kenya, will highlight the diversity and richness of Kenya’s tourism industry.
“The expo is a good opportunity for us coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic,'' she said.
“This is yet another opportunity for our hospitality industry to network and explore business opportunities at the leading travel trade expo in East Africa,'' Radier said.
Kenya will also host the World Travel Awards (WTA) in Nairobi next month.
WTA will host its Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2022 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on October 15, where leading travel industry figureheads and decision-makers are expected to attend.
Dubbed “Oscars of hospitality industry”, the awards will be coming to Kenya for a second time after the 2013 event held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi..
The latest Tourism Sector Performance report for January-August shows international visitor arrivals grew to 924,812, as compared to 483,246 recorded in the same period in 2021.
This year’s performance came with a Sh167 billion in receipts, double the Sh83 billion that was earned in a similar period last year.