New transport links, a modern cruise terminal and more niche product have been revealed as part of a strategy to drive Kenya’s tourism development over the next decade.
The National Tourism Blueprint 2030 is a four-point strategy developed as part of the country’s wider economic, social and political policy document known as Vision 2030.
Speaking at World Travel Market in London, the principal secretary of the ministry for tourism, Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, said: “In the past year, we have worked on the National Tourism Blueprint 2030, so that our vision is in alignment with the country’s vision, and to bring tourism up to speed with modern trends and the requirements of tourists today.
“We are looking at four main areas: product development, so that we bring into play more than just the usual beach and safari. We want to bring in sports tourism, adventure, heritage, gastronomy, as we have 44 tribes and each has its own culture and food.
“Then innovation, using new ways of promoting Kenya with apps and technology. Our marketing strategy will also take into consideration how people are looking for destinations using social media and user-generated content.
“And finally investment in infrastructure, encouraging new investors to come into the country.”
The next two years will see an extra 2,500 hotel beds added across the country, with 13 hotel openings from global brands including Marriott, Movenpick, Kempinski, Hilton and Sheraton.
Faster transport links between capital Nairobi and second city Mombasa – including the Madaraka Express train which opened in June, and the six-lane Mombasa Expressway – plus new regional airport Isiolo, near Laikipia, will improve access to the destination. A modern cruise terminal is also set to open in Mombasa next year, and Mrs Mohamed reported interest from Princess Cruises in using the city as a home port for one of its ships.
The Kenya Tourism Board has also introduced new 48-hour transit visas, which will be available for transit passengers from January 2018.
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