Kenya to focus on MICE, leisure & VFR segments

/ New Delhi
With over 20 years of experience in marketing Kenya as a destination, John Chirchir was named acting CEO of Kenya Tourism Board in November. In an interview with India Outbound, Chirchir lists his priorities for tourism revival and his plans for developing the Indian market.
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John Chirchir

John Chirchir

How will you ensure full recovery of tourism in Kenya?

  • Enhance digital marketing to reach out to wider markets with minimal cost
  • Strengthen stakeholder relations and partnerships for synergies in tourism promotion
  • Venture into potential and resilient markets especially regional and Africa as well as maintain the traditional tourist source markets.
  • Step up sustainable tourism practices for business continuity as well as enhancement of product and experience offering to enhance visitor experience

Which are the strategic source markets that you will rely on to boost tourism?

Besides maintaining the key source markets of Europe and United States, Africa is our next frontier: Ease of connectivity, similar lifestyles in terms of language and culture, and easier facilitation since no visa is required and use of identity card as a travel document are among the attributes of these regional markets.

How important will India be in your scheme of things?

India remains one of the key top markets for the destination. Its recovery has been very positive, ranking as the fifth highest in arrival from our key source markets. The board has invested heavily in marketing campaigns and currently running a global campaign with key travel agents dubbed Kenya the real deal.

How do you plan to engage with the Indian market?

This market has been receptive and the marketing activities deployed have borne fruits so far. In the wake of growth in the digital space, the board is utilising digital marketing to push the product as well as partnership with the key tourism stakeholders such as agents and airlines to execute conversion campaigns in the market. The ongoing real deal campaign with key agents and Kenya Airways seeks to grow the arrivals into the destination.

Which segments of Indian tourists would be your focus?

KTB will continue to focus on the leisure, MICE and VFR segment including couples, groups, families, business and special occasion travellers to grow its tourism arrival figures into Kenya. The incentive travel is very promising and having received over five groups with an average of 150 passengers within the year is a clear indicator of the potential in the market necessitated by the vibrancy of the Kenya product.

Vis a vis Indian MICE groups, what are your destinations’ USPs?

  • All year-round magic
  • Mild weather
  • Diverse and authentic products offering
  • Enriching cultural encounters with warm people
  • Well-developed infrastructure

Is Destination Kenya something beyond safaris?

Kenya is renowned for its safari offering in Maasai Mara. However, our safari experiences are expansively spread throughout the destination from the North, South, East and Western parts of the country including within our city of Nairobi. We also have our beach and water sporting experiences found along our Kenyan coast accessible by both road and air. The culinary segment is well developed with many Indians in the country. Kenya is much more than safaris alone.

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