•He added that there is a big opportunity in the nightlife tourism that KTB is willing to support investors who ‘come up and pick that challenge.
•The tourism marketing agency has been marketing the country as a meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) hub, in a bid to revitalizing tourism.
Kenya Tourism Board is eyeing nightlife tourism to supplement Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions tourism in the country.
KTB says it is increasing the focus on service tourism as the traditional Safari and beach tourism are increasingly losing allure.
According to KTB chairman Francis Gichaba, the recent international conferences that Kenya hosted a couple of months ago have exposed the need for nightlife experiences in the country.
“Nightlife in this country has been underutilised yet its potential is so big. During the climate summit, guests were seated the whole day and then in the evening they had nowhere to go to,” said Gichaba.
The tourism marketing agency has lately been marketing the country as a meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) hub, in a bid to revitalise tourism.
Gichaba said that the Mice business has had a direct impact on boosting tourism numbers but will need to be supported with nightlife facilities.
He added that there is a big opportunity in the nightlife tourism that KTB is willing to support investors who ‘come up and pick that challenge’
“We had over 2,000 delegates in Nairobi during the climate change forum, if you look at that influx over a period of one week those people needed to eat out and experience night spots. This is why we need to see what kind of nightlife gems we can unveil within Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu,” added Gichaba.
Nightlife tourism in Africa has been growing in popularity in recent years, with many African cities offering vibrant and diverse nightlife experiences for both locals and tourists.
While cities like Lagos and Johannesburg are well-known for their nightlife scenes, emerging destinations like Dakar (Senegal), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and Maputo (Mozambique) are also gaining recognition for their growing nightlife offerings.
According to KTB it is still too early to market the country as a nightlife destination until proper structures are put in place.
The agency will take an analysis of the investments that want to be roped into the nightlife businesses and standardise them.
“And we will audit them so that they just don't come as flushes in the pan but to enable us market them as one. Until we have good packaging we still can't market the nightlife in Kenya,” he said.
He added that the focus will now shift to marketing new products like culture, heritage adventure and new horizons like horticulture tea and coffee.
Gichaba pointed out that with these new markets tourism numbers are expected to hit two million by the close of 2023.
In the first eight months of year tourism numbers grew 40 percent compare to last year numbers.
From January to August KTB says the country has recorded 1.3 million tourists compared to 2022 when the number stood at 925,000 for a similar period.
“We can't surpass our tourism numbers by relying on the traditional tourism model. What we are saying now is that we are much more than just the wildlife and the beaches,” he added.