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Kenya set to showcase diversified tourism in Britain

( English.news.cn ) Updated: 2012-11-05 16:04:30

NAIROBI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) is due to lead over 50 tourism industry players for a three-day World Travel Market (WTM) exhibition in Britain as the East African country seeks to showcase its diversity in tourism products.

Acting Managing Director Jacinta Nzioka-Mbithi said on Friday the event to be held on Nov. 5-8 provides an opportunity for the country to benchmark with the best practices, from the best travel and tourism companies in the world.

"The tourism industry is very dynamic and this being the premium fair provides us with an opportunity to showcase Kenya as a preferred tourism destination. This will also provide an opportunity for Kenyan travel trade to interact with their counterparts from all over the world," Mbithi said.

The event will be an opportunity for the country to reassure her tourist source markets of the improved security following successful capture of the port of Kismayo in Somalia believed to have been the harboring rag tag militia attributed to the cases of insecurity along the coastal part of Kenya.

"We will be attending the exhibition with our new title as the best tourism board in Africa following the recent voting of KTB as Africa's leading Tourism Board 2012 in the Africa category, positively propelling the country's image globally as a tourism destination," she said.

Kenya has been playing a pivotal role in ensuring that terrorism and other forms of criminal activities threatening the country's security were minimized if not eliminated.

The country's coastal towns are the backbone of its thriving tourism industry, which has been hit by the fear of terror attacks and the kidnapping of foreigners by Somali pirates from resorts near the border with Somalia.

Police have particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.

The Kenyan Tourism Ministry is championing measures to boost domestic tourism. The country's marketing arm, the KTB, is also planning to boost domestic tourism revenues by up to 50 percent in three years.

Britain is the top tourist source market to Kenya with 203,290 arrivals recorded from the market last year, a 16.8 percent improvement from 2010 which posted 174,051 arrivals.

Nzioka said that KTB will endeavor to deliver to the industry players committed service as we show-case all the diversity of the Kenyan tourism products, a factor that boosted the board's campaigns in netting tourists to the country.

She however added that while the recent reported incidents of insecurity have had a negative impact on the destination but assured tourists that the stringent measures on insecurity investment by the government and persistent marketing efforts in partnership with the private sector will bear fruits.

Effects of economic recession on tourism, stimulating jobs and investment in the industry, elimination of barriers to travel such as visa restrictions and taxation are among key challenges to be faced during the deliberation by key industry players in the WTM exhibition.

Kenya's tourism has suffered a decline the number of tourists arriving since September 2011 when the Somali militant group, the Al-Shabaab, carried out the kidnappings of tourists in the Lamu archipelago and the kidnapping of the Spanish volunteers.

The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to try to pursue Al-Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism.

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