In the heart of Kenya’s vibrant capital, Nairobi, an extraordinary tapestry of experiences unfolds where the boundaries between urban living and the untamed beauty of wildlife gracefully converge.
The Kenya Tourism Board proudly heralds Nairobi as a city like no other, boasting a unique feature that captivates the spirit of adventure and offers a rare taste of the wild within the bustling cityscape.
This and many more unique offerings the city have to offer, says Kenya Tourism Board, Marketing Manager, Alex Tunoi. In an interview with the media during Kenya Tourism Board roadshow recently in Lagos, Tunoi said the country is prep for the forthcoming Magical Kenya event to be held later in the year.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Alex Tunoi, Marketing Manager, Kenya Tourism Board.
Why is Kenya Tourism Board in Nigeria?
The reason why we are here is part of our strategy for diversifying the source markets, and we are focusing on West Africa as one of our key source markets to grow numbers of tourism arrivals into Kenya. We noticed that Africans are beginning to travel, and they have the propensity for travel, and they are looking for new and exciting destinations. And we are here as Kenya Tourism Board to offer this opportunity to the Nigerian market for them to come to Kenya and enjoy what Kenya has to offer.
Presently, what is your arrival numbers from Nigeria and what is your target in the next three years?
At the moment we are receiving just over 35,000 tourism arrivals from Nigeria. We intend to grow that by 10% and subsequently grow it over the next couple of years.
There are a lot of destinations in East Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and those other ones, even Ethiopia. So, there is kind of rivalry or competition. How do you intend to attract more Nigerians to Kenya?
The reason why we are here is that we have come with our trade partners – two operators, hoteliers, to develop packages for this market. That means that engaging with the Nigerian trade partners, we are able to share with you all the attractions that Kenya has to offer. And also let you know that the Kenyan government has put in place eased travel restrictions to make Kenya more accessible to the market. And that is why we are here. Putting our business people in touch with your business people. So, this is a business-to-business meeting so that we can be able to work with the trade partners here in Nigeria, and through this partnership grow travel arrivals into Kenya.
For Magical Kenya this year, what should tourists expect? What is going to be new for Magical Kenya this year?
Oh, there are many attractions. Urban Adventure in Kenya has grown tremendously. There are a lot of new developments that are happening within the city. So that is something that we are bringing here. There is an opportunity for shopping, fine dining, for golfing, for the traditional circuits as well, like safari, wildlife, and also breath-taking beaches as well. This is what we are bringing into this market because we realize that Nigerians are beginning to seek for a lot of these products. We are seeing them coming into Kenya to consume these products. So, this is what we are bringing out to the market.
What are the most important selling points for this market?
Actually, the products I have just mentioned, because Nigerians are seeking for shopping experiences. That is what we are bringing here. They are also seeking for urban adventure, fine dining, looking for an opportunity to bond with friends and family. So, we are bringing that by bringing our partners to be able to package this in partnership with your trade here.
Which products have more percentage of people patronizing them?
From Nigeria, it is Urban Adventure. That is what I was just talking about, Urban Adventure.
What’s Magical in Magical Kenya?
It is Magical because of the variety of different experiences and products that Kenya has to offer. From wildlife to beach activity, to adventure, to unique culture. So, if you look at all the blend of these products, it makes the destination attractive and interesting. So, it is a magical experience that we are bringing to the market.
Relatively, would you say that Kenya is affordable compared to other destinations in East Africa and how secure is Kenya?
Kenya is a safe destination. The government has put measures in place to ensure that travelers are able to enjoy their experiences in a safe and fun environment. So that answers your question. The other one is affordability. We have various kinds of products and services to cater for every individual needs. That is why we have two of our operators here, they can be able to customize packages for you depending on what your needs are. So, it is affordable and depending on what you are looking for, Kenya can afford you that.
Is it true lion can walk out of the wild into the city?
It is not. Nairobi is home to a national park. It is the only city in the world that has a national park next to it. So, if you arrive within Nairobi, you do have an opportunity to go into the national park to see wildlife. Within a few minutes from the airport, you have an experience of wildlife within the city. And that is a very unique attraction. That is something that a lot of West Africans are looking to enjoy, especially in Nigeria. And that is what we want to ensure that Nigerians get to know about it. We want them to come to Kenya and enjoy the unique product, services and experiences that Kenya has to offer.