NAIROBI, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's tourism marketing body Thursday launched a domestic tourism marketing campaign aimed at revitalizing the tourism industry which is recovering from COVID-19 restrictions.
The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said the campaign is tailored to support the sector by rallying Kenyans to travel to various destinations within the country to keep the domestic market a key anchor to the industry that has borne the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Through this campaign, we aim to address the challenges that the tourism industry continues to face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector has faced reduced uptake of hospitality services, closure of properties, and laying off of staff," KTB Managing Director Betty Radier said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
The KTB has enlisted the partnership of the domestic travel trade to make the campaign impactful through conversion into sales of tour packages.
According to Radier, the partnership with the travel trade will see them combine resources, messaging, and marketing initiatives to sustain long-term demand for domestic travel.
"One of the key lessons that we have learned during this period is that the domestic market has great potential to sustain the industry as it has been key in keeping many businesses afloat when international travel was minimal," she said.
The tourism industry has been on a recovery path with the sector earnings jumping 65 percent to 146.51 billion shillings (1.24 billion U.S. dollars) last year up from 753 million dollars in 2020, according to the Kenya Tourism Sector Performance Report of 2021.
According to the report, domestic bed nights grew by 101.3 percent between 2020 and 2021 while international bed nights grew by 0.05 percent, an indication that the hospitality sector in Kenya has largely been supported by domestic travel in 2021.
The increase was attributed to high demand from domestic tourists that took over hotels, coastal beaches, and parks.
KTB will be seeking to address several challenges that continue to hinder domestic travel, including perceptions of affordability, lack of planning culture, and lack of awareness of the available products and experiences available for domestic travelers.
Kenya's tourism sector has heavily depended on forwarding bookings from international travelers during the pre-pandemic period, with the clientele taking more than half of the accommodation services.