•China is a growing market, having accounted for 82,180 and 83,388 arrivals in 2018 and 2019 respectively positioning itself as Kenya’s 6th largest source market.
•The numbers however dropped over the pandemic period as the country faced major lockdowns.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will capitalise on outdoor and nature-based tourism to increase visitors from the growing Chinese market, the agency has said.
According to Chairperson Francis Gichaba, this is part of a strategy that KTB is employing to grow arrivals from the market, which holds immense potential for Kenya's tourism sector.
"The post-Covid recovery plan for Kenya's tourism sector hinges on capitalising on our advantage in nature and outdoor experiences. We are shifting towards sustainable models of tourism in Kenya," Gichaba said on Thursday.
He said it imperative that Kenya deepens its engagement and relations with key emerging markets such as China, to find synergies to enhance marketing efforts and optimise opportunities.
China is a growing market, having accounted for 82,180 and 83,388 arrivals in 2018 and 2019 respectively positioning itself as Kenya’s 6th largest source market.
The numbers however dropped over the pandemic period as the country faced major lockdowns.
KTB is however optimistic of increased numbers from the Chinese market following the recent reopening of the country.
"The Chinese market is a great opportunity to grow air arrivals given the growing number of affluent middle-class Chinese travellers," the chairman said.
Gichaba made the remarks during the annual Kenya Chinese Tourism Association (KCTA) golf tournament held at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club, Nairobi.
At least 120 players drawn from the Chinese community residing in Kenya participated in a golf series that was sponsored by the Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Group.
The tourney forms part of events held by KCTA with the aim of connecting the diverse community to explore and experience Kenya’s travel products and services.
KCTA has over five hundred members pulled from different sectors with the potential to influence their friends and families for both domestic and international travel.
KCTA Chairperson Zhang Yuanxiang said golf tourism is part of the rich portfolio of outdoor experiences that are proving to be a strong attraction for Chinese tourists.
"With a travel-savvy population that is willing to explore and try new experiences, Kenya stands in a great position to tap on this promising potential and consequently re-assert itself as a destination offering golf and other outdoor attractions," Yuanxiang said.
Before the pandemic, China was the world’s largest outbound travel market with over 150 million outbound travellers, whose spending added up to almost $255 billion(Sh34.7 trillion).
The Chinese travel market is highly diversified, with a tendency to prefer group leisure travel.