Kenya is looking to grow the number of tourists from China while building more interactions between Africa and the Asian country.

This is through the newly launched Kenya-China tourism service platform that seeks to directly link Chinese travelers to the Kenyan tourism market.

The platform was announced on Friday during the China-Africa culture and tourism promotion and cooperation fair in Nairobi.

The summit also sought to deepen industry cooperation and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

Speaking at the event, deputy director general of Hunan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism Shang Bin, reiterated that China seeks to organize further cultural and tourism enterprises to conduct  matchmaking negotiations and sign agreements on project cooperation.

“We want to also build a bridge of friendship between China, Kenya and Africa at large to boost the tourism sector figures,” Bin said.

China is Kenya’s sixth biggest tourism source market internationally,  contributing 5.5 per cent of total international tourist.

Last year’s annual tourism sector performance report shows arrivals rose from 1.5 million in 2022 to 1.9 million in 2023, a 31.5 per cent increase.

From January to August this year, visitor arrivals from China grew by 154 per cent, translating to 34,638 visitors, up from 13,601 recorded in the same period last year.

Kenya Tourism Board chairman Francis Gichaba commended the new strategy saying the country is keen in growing the partnership between Kenya and the Asian market to develop on what Kenya has already established.

“Kenya’s safari experience, rich cultural heritage like the Maa, Turkana derby and the camel derby, unique landscapes and snow caped mountain, beaches around the coast  line, whale migration and the fact that it is the origin of humans are some of the  tourist attractions that we have to leverage on in attracting the Chinese travelers,” Gichaba said.

“We are bringing in the media, tour operators to come and experience the  destinations, we are also in a digital world and we are using social media to expand the visibility and awareness of the market.”

He added that the country is in a continued recovery journey, coming from the Covid-19 pandemic, and is looking into the future in positive prospect.

The fair was part of the inaugural China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo (CAETE).

Source: The star

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