The domestic market resisted the adverse impact of Covid-19 witnessed last year to record a total bed occupancy of 69.4%.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief Executive officer Dr. Betty Radier further disclosed that the domestic market contributed 54% of all tourism revenues collected during the period.
While addressing the media during the “you deserve a holiday” domestic campaign at the Machakos Golf Club, in Machakos County, the CEO attributed the performance to resilience of the local travellers in the midst of unforeseen challenges affecting travel industry.
The Covid-19 pandemic, she said, has more than before brought into fore the potential the domestic market had in cushioning the sector during hard times that reduce travels amongst international visitors.
“The decline in international travels owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, taught us a lot, a key learning being that we have to re-strategize, and put a full focus on the domestic market, which kept the industry alive during the two-year Covid-19 period”. Said Dr Radier.
Through the six-long campaign, KTB is collaborating with about 25 travel trade companies to provide affordable travel packages to potential local travellers across the country. “The need to continue generating interest in the country’s domestic tourism market has never been greater, and we believe that this venture with the private sector will go a long way” said the CEO.
According to Dr. Radier, the campaign is activated through magical Kenya golf tours in about 11 golf courses spread across the country, mall activations and corporate visits in targeted towns so as to reach as many people as possible.
Tourism Fund chairman Alphonse Kioko says that the fund will be partnering with County Governments to ensure that they promote domestic tourism which in turn will improve the local economies “As Tourism Fund we shall be moving to counties to ensure that we work together in promoting tourism activities to spur local businesses.
He called on hospitality establishments to focus on service improvements so as to enhance customer experience and meet the expected standards.
“Machakos has close to 4000 bed capacity, when you look around the town we have facilities to suit high end and low segment visitors. Being in between Nairobi and Mombasa, Machakos is ideal in decongesting the big cities and providing good travel opportunities to visitors” Said Kioko.
He said tourism business was one of those sectors that has a multiplier effect on economic livelihoods of Kenyans adding that Tourism Fund and KTB will build on synergies to explore the potential that exists in the industry.
Machakos County Governor Wavinya Ndeti in a statement hailed KTB for launching the campaign in the county and pledged her support to the local tourism industry.
“I am glad that KTB has chosen Machakos as a Key destination in this domestic promotion campaign and we will give necessary support to the campaign, “she said in a statement read on her behalf.
Machakos has key attractions such as the iconic Machakos people’s park, the Kyamwilu antigravity hill, Oldonyo Sapuk National Park, the Wamunyu handicrafts centre among others. I welcome all Kenyans to visit Machakos County and experience the magic we have here,” she said.