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Kenya plans to cut tourism marketing budget in Japan and Italy


Kenya plans to cut tourism marketing budget in Japan and Italy

Tourism CS Najib Balala. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya plans to cut marketing spend in three traditional tourism source markets to free up advertising budget in favor of five new markets like China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and South Korea which, according to him, have a high potential of visitors and income.

The Department of Tourism and Wildlife said it would scale back campaigns in markets including Italy, Switzerland and Japan due to lower share captured in previous efforts and slower annual growth. expected equivalent to 1%.

Spending will now be directed to five markets, China, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“Kenya could start by launching tailored marketing campaigns for the 1-2 countries with the highest potential in each category: US, UK, China, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia,” the ministry said in a new strategy document.

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“Given limited marketing spend, prioritizing marketing budgets is critical for successful outreach. Other source markets should still be engaged, but marketing should focus on priority countries.”

Tourism promotion and marketing activities received 1.06 billion shillings for the financial year beginning in June, 18.3% more than the 897.89 million shillings of the supplementary budget for the current financial year.

But this will not reduce the budgets of other traditional markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom, which still have high potential based on figures and revenues of up to 310,000 and 750 million dollars (87 .7 billion shillings) by 2030.

Kenya conducts promotional initiatives including roadshows and sponsorship of guest tourism agents, advertisements in foreign media to attract visitors for leisure and meetings, conferences and incentive events.

Other investments include open road regulation and policy and increasing visa openness.

The markets are singled out due to the existing relationship with Kenya, which facilitates penetration and the potential to attract more visitors compared to the East African region. Other markets that Kenya will watch in the medium term are Canada, Germany, France, India and South Korea.

The ministry could also reduce campaigns in the regional market citing higher spending by tourists on flight connectivity and visas, leading to insufficient returns.

Tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic following border closures and flight cancellations as economies around the world struggle to control the pandemic.

It relied heavily on advance bookings from international travelers during the pre-pandemic period, with clientele taking up more than half of accommodation services.

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It will also now largely target the domestic market which has supported the industry during the pandemic with many visits to coastal hotels, parks and sporting events.

The domestic market potential is expected to have 12 million people able to enjoy and spend in local destinations by 2030, up from 6.6 million in 2019.

The plan is part of a five-year tourism industry strategy to 2025 developed by a team of tour operators, parastatals, conservation officials and funders, led by CS Najib Balala .

Tourism spending is expected to return to 2019 levels in 2024, when $1.97 billion (229.4 billion shillings) was recorded as total leisure travel spending from the world’s top 40 source markets.

About $1.38 billion (160.7 billion shillings) is expected to be spent this year.

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