The Ministry of Tourism has launched a Kshs 30 million SMS campaign to woo in domestic travelers as part of its recovery strategy.
At the same time, the government will soon be unveiling a collaborative strategy on tourism promotion with the county governments to enhance tourism product diversity in the country.
Speaking during the SMS campaign launch in Mombasa, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said marketing of country’s products has to be holistic with collaboration from the private sector and the county governments.
Balala pointed out that counties under North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) and Jumuia ya Pwani have tourism promotion opportunities and will be the first entry to ministry’s engagement with the county governments.
He said the SMS campaign will have a direct impact on domestic tourist numbers as it supports the ongoing efforts to position the country’s tourist attractions to the local audience.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa said the eight-week campaign will see couples and individuals win prizes during the campaign which will include two nights and three days to various attractions.
He said there will be a grand prize for two people for five nights with a flying package either to Maasai Mara or Samburu. To register for the competition, one will be required to send his or her name to 21888.
The CS said the campaign will add impetus to the ongoing TembeaKenya Campaign seeking to encourage more Kenyans to tour their country and sample its diverse tourism attractions.
He added that already a tender on further promotional campaigns to targeting the domestic market floated out for the bidders to send through their concepts.
Domestic tourism, he pointed out, has been on a steady growth with bed nights occupancy recording about 47 per cent percent up from 41 per cent in the past years.
“This is indicative of the fact that the sub-sector has the potential for further growth and therefore a cushion to the industry especially during hard times” he noted.
He called on the hotels to offer affordable packages to the local market as a cushion during low season.
At the same time, Balala thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for his directive on visa fee waiver for children below 16 years and the capping of park fee at US $60.
“These, including the Kshs 1.2 billion charter incentive are major boost to the tourism sector and that is why I have called on the private sector to give full support to the implementation of the process,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
He disclosed that he has already initiated discussion with Narok county government for the review of their park fee in the light of the upcoming review by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) owned parks.