Chinese travel trade selling Kenya’s tourism products have reported increased enquiries by travelers around Kenya; following last week's visit by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
His visit coincided with the launch of mobile online training for travel agents in China rolled out by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) to create top of mind destination awareness and spur interest for travel among the Chinese.
Travel agents have termed the visit by the billionaire a major boost and endorsement to their campaigns - that seek to woo Chinese travelers into Kenya.
“As a result of his visit, I can assure you that our work of marketing Kenya has been made easier, interest to travel to Kenya has suddenly gone up and this is positive feedback”, said Travel Service Bigeyes International co-founder Vivien Zhang.
A top ten wholesaler of Africa and Middle East General Manager Johnson Chen disclosed that his company has received several enquires about Kenya that has been in the limelight in connection to Jack’s visit and other China’s development projects in Keya including Standard Gauge Railways.
“We anticipate to register an increase of travelers to Kenya in the month of September through to October, Kenya is now among the top sale destination owing to positives associations between the two countries,” said Chen.
The tour operators were speaking over the weekendduring promotional marketing campaigns by KTB in China’s cities of Beijing, Shangai and Guangzhou.
KTB launched online mobile training for travel agents selling Kenya’s products to enhance their knowledge on tourism packages the country is offering.
In addition to this, KTB has planned to produce a destination video specifically for the Chinese market to sustain top of mind destination awareness among the Chinese.
KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier in a statement said China now listed among the top ten tourist source market the country has potential for further growth.
She added that KTB will invest more resources in strategic marketing initiatives aimed at attracting the high-end consumer segments.
Last year, the market posted 47,860 arrivals up from 29,790 recorded in 2015, indicating a growth of 60.7%.
“By end of April this year, we received 14,029 visitors from the country compared to 10,407 recorded in the same period last year, an increase of 34.8%,” said Radier.
Family travel, resulting from the government’s visa waiver for children under the age of 16, is among the factors contributing to the growth of the market.
The General Manager for Joy Way, an international travel company Eric Zhu said Kenya will host more family travelers from next year through a kid’s safari package that the company has developed.
“Family travel segment to Kenya is increasingly becoming popular. In partnership with Kenya Airways, we are packaging this product around wildlife and the train services that cater for large groups and corporate clients,” he said