NAIROBI, Kenya July 20 – The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is seeking to grow bed occupancy by the domestic traveler to over 51 per cent recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic through a new partnership with the domestic travel trade.
KTB Chief Executive Betty Radier says the domestic traveler has cushioned the sector over the pandemic period and the propensity of Kenyans to travel and explore attractions in their motherland has grown over time.
“The domestic market is no longer just an alternative market for us, it is a key market and that is why we are joining hands with the domestic travel trade to give impetus to the growing trend of Kenyans to travel,” said the CEO.
She was speaking at KTB offices on an occasion to onboard domestic travel trade for a six-month-long campaign to promote domestic tourism.
Radier said Kenyan travelers have an opportunity to enjoy seamless hospitality services from the partnerships
“Our partnership is bringing on board over 20 partners including tour operators, airlines, and hoteliers making travel packages complete for a seamless experience. This campaign will give us an opportunity to enhance the experience that travelers can enjoy in the destination away from the beach and safari products and begin to move into other cities,” says Radier.
While lauding Kenyans for keeping the hospitality afloat during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, KTB CEO disclosed that major towns such as Naivasha, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Nanyuki are quickly becoming favorable spots for domestic travelers besides Mombasa.
She said the partnership with the private sector will provide other opportunities for enhanced experiences availed to Kenyans away from the traditional beach and safari product.
On his part, Bonfire Adventures CEO Simon Kabu said; “Our partnership with KTB is meant to urge Kenyans to take up travel within their own country and experience the different offerings that are available. We have negotiated with other partners including the hotels and airlines to offer affordable rates so that we can encourage more people to take up travel.”
The campaign comes at a time when the destination is witnessing an improvement in the number of tourist arrivals from both the domestic and international markets.
According to the Kenya Tourism Performance Report 2021, from the period between January to September 2021, the bed occupancy rates increased to 4,138,821 as compared to the same period in 2020 (2,575,812) recording a recovery of 60.7 per cent.
This sustained recovery of the hospitality sector was largely supported by domestic travelers with domestic bed nights growing by 101.3 percent while international bed nights grew by 0.05 percent.