Kenya to woo luxury travelers to revive tourism sector amid COVID-19 pandemic

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NAIROBI, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is planning to position itself as a luxury destination as a part of a strategy to revive and expand the tourism sector, a government official said on Tuesday.

Najib Balala, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, said that the absence of international tourists coupled with travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced travel globally and the growth of niche tourism.

"The government has now set eyes on luxury travelers as it seeks to continue the recovery path of the tourism sector through targeted marketing strategies in several markets," Balala said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He spoke from the Maasai Mara game reserve as he welcomed tourists aboard the inaugural Roar Africa and Emirates Executive Private Jet Safari (a World-Class Conservation Safari).

According to government data, Kenya received 305,635 tourists in the first six months of 2021 as compared to 2.05 million international arrivals for 2019.

Balala noted that the destination is proving to be attractive to luxury travelers especially with Kenya having unique travel opportunities and new developments in the country.

"Over the years we have been working towards profiling Kenya to niche clients who have specific preferences and needs and that's the reason we have been diversifying our products to suit each market segment," Balala added.

He observed that Kenya has iconic tourism products such as the wildebeest migration at the Maasai Mara that suit the needs of the high-net-worth traveler who want value for their money.

"Our goal is to build on the growing luxury tourism sector as we work towards expanding into different market segments in the short and long term," Balala revealed.

He added that luxury travel is growing to become a key segment in the tourism industry with several key developments currently ongoing, expected to boost the sector such as the Chinese built Lamu Port which is touted to be a game changer through cruise tourism. Enditem

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