Kenya turns attention to business tourism

Kenya Tourist Board has announced impressive growth in UK arrivals in the wake of its successful Follow Your Instinct campaign and is seeking to emulate its leisure tourism success in the business sector. The campaign, unveiled in November 2004, has seen the number of tourists increase from 966,371 in 2004 to an estimated 1,255, 965 in 2005, with revenue up by 18.6%. Kenya Tourist Board head of marketing, Michael Opondo said: “There is an increasing confidence in the Kenyan product and in order to capitalise on this fully, we must diversify our tourism product by focusing on the business tourism market.” “Multinationals such as Coca-Cola have their EMEA base in Nairobi, so Kenya is a major hub for international meetings.,” he added. “Conference and incentive travel is the key engine to drive our business sector in 2006.” Capitalising on the growing interest are airlines including Qatar Airways, which launched scheduled flights to Nairobi from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester via Doha this month and Kenya Airways, which is adding a direct scheduled service to Mombasa in December 2005. The Kenya Airports Authority has planned a £58m expansion of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to cope with the growing demand from airlines. The two-year project will see the airport expand by 50%. Kenya’s C&I infrastructure will be further boosted in early 2006 with the openings of upmarket properties such as the Ndovu Bonde Cove Tree Houses, 90 minutes south of Mombasa and Joy’s Camp by luxury group Cheli & Peacock in the Shaba National Reserve. There are also five properties undergoing a £15m renovation programme which will reopen under the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts banner, adding 440 rooms to the region.

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