Kenyans asked to embrace domestic tourism

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 07:20 |

Domestic tourism is growing as more people explore local travel and adventure opportunities.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chief executive officer Betty Radier says key players in the tourism sector are partnering to give more affordable packages to locals.

“Intense campaigns by the agency and hospitality industry players has greatly contributed to increased visibility of local tourists.”  she said. 

Addressing journalists on a recent tour of Central and Coast region tourism destinations, the CEO said heritage and cultural attractions have highly boosted the sector. The trip was dubbed ‘Hidden Gems’ and was aimed at exposing more of the country’s rich tourism destinations, including destinations. 

“For a long time, Kenyans have shied away from tourism destinations for fear of high costs, but that is just a misconception. Today, there is space for everyone and affordable packages,” said the CEO.

Radier urged Kenyans at large to take advantage of the available of tourism destinations by familiarising and exploring such sites. 

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has been calling on Kenyans to embrace touring the various rich attractions of the country so as to boost the sector. Releasing last year’s economic performance report, Balala said that bed nights for domestic tourism in the year 2018 were estimated at 3.97 million, a nine per cent increase compared to 2017 data of 3.65 million. 

According to Joy Ruo, founder of JRV Travel, domestic tourism is a field that the industry players ought to tap into more to increase revenue. “Many Kenyans prefer to travel to international destinations over local destinations while some do not travel at all,” she said in an opinion published earlier this year in People Daily. 

Ruo said every time we travel and buy outside the country, we are inadvertently taking away the economic growth we could be retaining in our country. She decried infrastructure as a key challenge for domestic tourism.

 “With road transport being the key mode of transport, many road networks where tourist attraction sites are located need upgrading. This also involves constructing new routes to places where it is non-existent. Infrastructure upgrades should not only be focused on road networks, but also railways, airstrips and airports,” she said. 

Ruo said more campaigns should be conducted with a view of educating and familiarising the locals about available local destinations and the importance of tourism in a society. 

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