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Kenya eyes increasing Chinese high-yield tourists

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-02 15:38

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is seeking to attract high-yield tourist arrivals from Chinese big cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, officials said on Monday.

"Using findings from an in-depth engagement with Chinese travel agencies, media as well as local travel partners, we have uncovered new insights on China's tourism trends that inform how we package our destination products and experiences to offer travelers more specialized and personalized experiences," Betty Addero Radier, chief executive officer of KTB said in statement.

Last week in China, KTB organized the Kenya Trade Forum road show themed "Adventure Tour" that was attended by over 110 traders from key online travel agents including Ctrip.com, LY.com, and Tuniu and key traditional travel agencies and tailor-made travel agencies.

Radier said that the aim of the forum was to demystify the Chinese travel market perspective that Kenya is a seasonal safari destination and instead position Kenya as an 'all year magic' destination through intensive product training sessions to the Chinese travel agencies.

"China is an important source market for most destinations around the world given that it is the largest source market in terms of outbound numbers and spends. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa generally have a similar product offering which is the wildlife and beach product," Radier said.

She noted that it is critical for Kenya to differentiate itself in order to attract high-value Chinese tourists throughout the year.

Kenyan government data indicated that in 2018 Kenya received 81,709 arrivals from China, representing a 4.03 percent growth from the previous year.

Radier revealed that the number of inbound Chinese tourists is projected to increase from initiatives such as the direct link between the city of Changsha and Nairobi by one of China's biggest airlines, the China Southern Airlines, who announced the deployment of its 330-200 Airbus twice per week to and from Changsha, with non-stop flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou on Monday and Friday.

According to the tourism agency, Chinese tourists spent an average of 3,064 dollars per person on location destination on their most recent overseas travels, excluding tour group costs and the major transportation costs to and from the destination.

KTB noted that the Chinese market is becoming more segmented with a lot of diversity in travel habits with the Chinese adventure travelers interested in experiencing all aspects of a new destination including the cuisine and unique local culture.

"We are also working collaboratively with our local tour operators and traders on training their tour guides and their staff on the Chinese language and culture as well as implementing seamless customer experience for Chinese travelers from flight to departure within the destination," she added.

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