The Kenya Tourist Board yesterday entered into a deal with international athletes meant to market tourism in the country.
Finer details of the memorandum of understanding between the KTB and the Athletics Kenya (AK) is however being worked out. “Athletes are the best ambassadors which this country has and we are planning to sign an MOU with them so that they take part in marketing Kenya under an agreed arrangement”, said KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa.
He said KTB appreciates the efforts made by the athletes to represent the country and win at most of the international athletics championships. “This has always given Kenya a good reputation as a very good destination for tourists, said Muriithi. Speaking in Rift Valley while preparing for the World Tourism Day set for September 27 at Lake Bogoria in Baringo, Muriithi said KTB has already engaged AK on the use of athletes to market tourism.
He said KTB was meeting with stakeholders in different regions in order to discus issues in the sector and show products that can be marketed both locally and internationally besides the well-known beach and wildlife attractions. Muriithi said the devolved system of government will give opportunities to the 47 counties. “But each region has first to find their economic potential. Tourism is one of the most practical way for counties to economically grow,” he said.
However Muriithi said the Rift Valley region has many beautiful attractions which should be marketed. For example, he said, the United Nations has recently declared the Lake Bogoria as a World Heritage Site lifting the profile of the Rift Valley region as a tourism destination. The lake is unique for its volcanic activities, hot springs and flamingos.
Meanwhile, Muriithi disclosed that the country has this year recorded a 13 per cent growth in the tourism sector driven by the rising number of tourists. Muriithi is attributing the growth to KTB’s aggressive marketing and support from other stakeholders in the sector.