Like its east African neighbours, Kenya is carrying out an intensive campaign to promote tourism and trade in various countries. The latest being Nigeria.
Kenya’s cabinet secretary for tourism Phyllis Kandie is in support of marketing Kenya’s tourism in Nigeria and told a stakeholders’ workshop in Abuja, Nigeria that Kenya was looking to explore and venture into diverse prospects in trade, tourism and investment.
“We hope to promote and enhance intra-African trade and create employment opportunities and as a result raise our people’s living standards,” Ms Kandie said, adding that each country has a lot to offer.
According to Ms Kandie, it is important for stakeholders to learn how business is done in different countries, as well as form partnerships and collaborations that are sustainable and can lead to profitable business deals.
Kenya-Nigeria business ties have been in existence for a long time, adding that the total bilateral trade increased from US$26.18 million to US$48.26 million in 2008 before declining to US$36.16 million in 2012. The decline was because of preferential market access between the two countries.
However, opportunities exist and such meetings provide a great platform to create and expand linkages, build new alliances and partnerships as well as create business contacts which will help us increase trade, tourism and investment.
Numbers also show that the tourists’ traffic from Nigeria to Kenya has declined in recent years. Nigerian visitors to Kenya decreased from 16,801 in 2011 to 15,029 in 2012 to 13,850 last year, however the figures for the first and second quarter figures for 2014 are more impressive than last year’s figures. So it seems there is an improvement.
After the recent blows that Kenya’s tourism industry has suffered, every small increase in tourism numbers is an encouragement for tourism in Kenya.
Ms. Kandie said that Kenya is optimistic that all their efforts in promoting and marketing tourism and Kenya safaris, as well as the introduction of direct flights to Abuja by Kenya Airways in addition to the Lagos route, all of this will result in increase in tourism traffic between the two countries. It could even perhaps attract tourist traffic from other countries as well.
Kenya is a leading tourism destination in the region, with an abundance of attractions that range from rich wildlife,, diverse cultures, world-class convention facilities, serene beaches, popular sporting tourism destinations and very hospitable people.
According to Ms Kandie the best way to protect the tourism sector from the uncertainties that are very characteristic of the international market is to concentrate on the regional market.