• Tourism PS says there is no point in marketing Kenya aggressively for tourists to come and experience 'the same old products'.
• Official says tourism contributes to over 60 per cent of the sector’s earnings and the number could go higher with partnerships and educating communities.
Tourism industry players have been urged to increase efficiency and innovate products that embrace local communities to ensure sustainability.
Tourism and Wildlife PS Joe Okudo said the ministry is committed to supporting the development of infrastructure and new products.
The PS said this will be achieved through the recently gazetted Tourism Promotional Fund.
Okudo spoke on behalf of Tourism CS Najib Balala on Friday in Nairobi during the annual Kenya Tourism Federation Networking Gala.
The PS noted there was no point in marketing Kenya aggressively for tourists to come and experience "the same old products".
“Millennials are no longer interested in travelling to the Mara for four hours or more, to go and stay in a hotel. What they are keen on is spending time embracing cultural practices of places and people they visit,” he said.
Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohammed Hersi said the private sector was keen to push the sustainability agenda as a way of ensuring a future for the industry, a theme the federation has maintained from the inaugural edition of the sector networking gala last year.
“We want the tourism dollar to trickle down to everybody by allowing tourists who are more keen on the experiential to enjoy the same by engaging with communities and their day to day lives, as opposed to the old way of enjoying products by merely observing what is going on around them,” Hersi said.
He noted that tourism contributes to over 60 per cent of the sector’s earnings and the number could go higher with partnerships and educating communities on the best sustainable tourism practices.
The annual networking gala which was held under the theme 'Sustainability is present and future' focused on the strides made in sustainable tourism excellence.
The event had participation from affiliate tourism industry stakeholders, a wide cross-section of government agencies, industries and other partners that indirectly benefit from the tourism sector.
Edited by R.Wamochie