The Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) has come under fire for not marketing the country strongly enough overseas resulting in poor visitor numbers this season.
The tourist board, which in 2010 won an award for the Best National Tourism Board in Middle East, Africa, and Indian Ocean category, has been criticised by hoteliers along the Kenya coast.
They claim the KTB has not invested enough in marketing to enable it to compete with other popular tourism hot spots such as Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia.
Kuldip Sondhi, general manager of the Reef Hotel, said uncertainties over the next general election was affecting investors and future bookings. He said: “It is the duty of the KTB to reassure potential overseas market that all is well.”
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Hoteliers have been hit by fewer advanced bookings and challenges in the market place such as the European economy have all made an impact on the Kenya tourism trade, but cancellations have remained low.
David Lang’at, general manager of the Pride Inn Sairock, said: “The KTB should be aggressive enough in marketing Kenya.”
He added that the KTB should incorporate people with vast industry experience in the board and not just people with paper qualifications. "We have people who have been in the industry for more than 20 years who know the ups and downs of the industry. These people can identify how to properly market the country abroad,” he said.
The KTB’s mission statement says its main aim is to drive and support the effective marketing of Kenya’s tourism products professionally and transparently while enriching the lives of Kenyans and visitors alike and its vision is to achieve global recognition as an outstanding tourist destination.