Kenya banking on adventure tourism to boost arrivals

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NAIROBI, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya intends to showcase some of its iconic scenic attractions like mountains, tropical forests and savannah grasslands to foreign and local tourists keen on adventure, officials said Saturday.

Najib Balala, the cabinet secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, said that by promoting adventure tourism, the country expects to shore up arrivals and generate additional foreign exchange earnings.

Speaking ahead of a four-day hiking expedition in Mount Kenya, Balala said the adventure tourism had the potential to hasten the sector's post-pandemic revival besides creating new jobs for the country's youth. He reckoned that hiking and mountaineering are niche adventure tourism products that have the potential to shore up visitors' numbers and generate new revenue for the exchequer.

"We are positioning the country as a top destination for adventure tourism. Our landmarks like mountains are ideal for visitors looking for outdoor adventure," said Balala.

He said the ongoing climbing expedition in Mount Kenya, Africa's second tallest mountain whose height is 5,199 meters, aims to showcase it as an ideal destination for adventure and nature lovers.

Balala added that Mount Kenya national park which is a UNESCO natural world heritage site and a wildlife sanctuary has always been an attractive tourist destination.

Balala last week led a group of hikers to explore Mount Longonot in the Rift Valley as part of concerted efforts to promote adventure tourism in the country.

He said the government will revamp amenities like toilets and water points along hiking paths in the mountains besides improving security in order to attract many adventure seekers.

Allan Njoroge, the company secretary at Kenya Tourism Board, said that raising the stature of adventure tourism is part of the sector's diversification that has regained momentum after pandemic-related hiatus. Njoroge said the Mount Kenya climbing expedition led by senior officials will help showcase the country as an ideal mountaineering destination in Africa. Enditem

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