Last week was the annual ITB once again in Berlin. Kenya was well represented.
The annual event has become the one stop shop for German investors and tourists interested in meeting key players in the Kenyan tourism sector and this year was no exception, with the delegation this year including 42 exhibitors and county governments (Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Kwale and Mombasa) led by the CS for Tourism, Najib Balala, the Kenyan Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Magutt, the Tourism Principal Secretary, Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed and the Acting Managing Director of Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), Jacinta Nzioka Mbithi.
The Uasin Gishu Governor, Mr. Jackson Mandago, was in Berlin to promote the North Rift Tourism circuit which is currently under-exploited. Some of the tourism potential in the County include reserve parks, sports tourism and investment in Hotels.
CS Balala came baring a bag of incentives for potential tourists and Charter flight owners amongCharter Incentive Programme (CIP). CIP provides chartered flight operators from Italy and Germany a Sh3,000 subsidy per passenger for every aircraft whose 80 per cent of the travellers terminate their journey at Malindi and Mombasa airports. Game reserves and national park fees have been revised to allow more local and foreign tourists to visit the facilities thereby creating more jobs for Kenyans who once worked at tourist lodges and camps located in various parts of the country.
CS Balala also met with the Ghanaian Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ms. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, to discuss on ways the two countries can work together to exploit win-win tourism opportunities between the two countries.
On the sidelines of the ITB, Kenya was able to garner second place in the Africa category in the Best Exhibitor’s Awards. Seems however, Kenya keeps getting the second place, this year they were beat by Egypt while last year they lost to Rwanda.