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More tourists planning visits to Africa

By Li Lianxing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-13 01:45

Travel warnings

Several Western countries issued travel warnings for Kenya before the traditional peak seasons. The majority of tourists to Kenya are from the West, and Chinese visitors account for only a small proportion, said Han Jun, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce in East Africa, who also runs a travel agency in Nairobi.

"There will still be an increase of Chinese tourists this year, but it will not be too pronounced because of the limited service capacity of this country," he said. "Chinese tourists' decisions about coming to Kenya will not be affected by Western travel warnings but by domestic social media."

He said that during the past two decades, no Chinese tourists were reported to have been endangered by the social situation, so they feel less concerned about safety in Kenya.

"The only accidents that happened were traffic accidents, and they were operated by illegal tourism agents," he added.

But he showed some concern about the recent fire at the Nairobi international airport, which affected hundreds of passengers' scheduled trips and raised worries about the country's safety situation.

"When CCTV did a live show on the animal migration in Masai Mara last year, the Chinese audience suddenly realized Kenya was a favorable tourist destination and started coming here," he said.

The live broadcast of the wild animal migration was very attractive to the Chinese audience, and it is also a good way to promote Kenyan tourism, said Song Jianing, chief of the CCTV Africa Bureau.

"Kenya has very good tourism resources that were not known to Chinese tourists before, so when we decided to do this program last year. We received support from both China and Kenya," she said. "The Kenyan television stations had long been wanting to do this but due to a lack of funds and technology, they thought cooperation with us was a very good choice to promote their natural wonders."

CCTV started its live broadcast in July 2012 and conducted a second in August. The live show ran from 4 to 6 pm on the station's news channel with various topics and local guest hosts.

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