Despite the drawback on the travel and tourism sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya’s tourism sector has generated a whooping Sh4 billion ($37.2m) from a World Rally Championship (WRC), held in the country for four days.
According to pulselive.co.ke, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said that the government was looking for the thousands of Kenyans who attended the World Rally Championship in Naivasha over the past weekend. In a post on his official Twitter handle, CS Balala explained that the Tourism research institute is requesting everyone who participated in the event to offer feedback through a targeted survey.
The survey aims at assessing the visitors’ experience and the economic impact of 2021 WRC Safari Rally Kenya, on the country’s tourism sector.
“The data will be useful in gauging visitor experience and the economic impact to the destination,” he said.
It was revealed that the weekend-long event pumped approximately Sh4 billion into the economy in just four days.
Some of the questions Kenyans will be expected to answer include details about their travel arrangements such as mode of transport used and accommodation.
The government also wants to know how much money the attendees spent during the event.
Other aspects of the rally in the survey also include the experience and levels of satisfaction with the event’s planning and execution.
The tourism research institute is mandated to undertake and coordinate tourism research and analysis.
The feedback will help improve the government’s plan for the 2022 WRC Safari Rally following an announcement by President Uhuru Kenyatta that the event will be hosting the annual event until 2026.
“In this regard, my administration will immediately start preparations for the next Safari Rally event, and I commit the required financial investment towards another successful championship in Kenya,” he said during the close of the rally.
The grueling three-day event was won by French driver Sebastien Ogier followed by his Toyota teammate Takamoto Kasutsa of Japan while Hyundai’s Ott Tanak of Estonia finished third.
Onkar Rai navigated by Drew Sturrock was the highest ranked Kenyan driver in position seven followed by Karan Patel and Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo in eighth and ninth positions respectively.
With the successful hosting of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally, the President said Kenya had demonstrated to the world that it was prepared to host global events despite the logistical challenges posed by Covid-19.
President Kenyatta reminded Kenyans that he had fulfilled his 2013 promise to bring back the WRC Safari Rally after years of absence.
“I am proud to say that after a 19 year-long pause, the Safari Rally is back home! Our efforts have paid off. We have staged a remarkable 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally that has challenged both man and machine, and which will be remembered for many years to come,” he said.
The President, who is the patron of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally, noted that the Kenyan leg of the world series event had confirmed the huge potential held by the country as a global motorsport destination.
“We dreamed and we delivered. We planned and we succeeded. Through all of our collective efforts, it is now certain that ‘the greatest show in motorsport in Africa’ will continue to thrill and inspire long into the future,” the President said.
The Head of State congratulated the 2021 Safari Rally participants and encouraged those that didn’t succeed to press on for better results in future events. He wished quick recovery to those injured during the three-day showpiece and invited them to participate in next year’s event.
Sports CS Amina Mohamed expressed satisfaction with the running of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally saying the motorsport event had met international expectations.
“We want to thank you, Your Excellency. Your initiative to return the rally to our country and your support towards the planning and the hosting of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally has enabled this iconic and memorable event to take place,” CS Amina said.