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Kenya, India in deal to boost tourism

The Indian government is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Kenya on promoting tourism to boost the industry between the two countries.

Union Tourism Secretary for India, Shri Vinod Zutshi, said the MOU would enhance marketing activities aimed to benefit tourism industry in both countries.

Through the agreement, he said, India plans to aggressively market its tourism products in Kenya to help attract more Kenyan tourists to India.

“We plan to bring Indian tour operators and travel agents to Kenya for them to promote our products so that more Kenyans can visit our country for holidays,” he said.

Mr Zutshi added that India also intends to hold road shows in cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu to enlighten Kenyans about holiday offers from the Asian destination.

Speaking during the just concluded International Tourism Mart in Imphal, Manipur State in India, Mr Zutshi said tourist arrivals from Kenya to his country were on the rise.

“Tourist arrivals from Kenya to India increased to 46,000 last year compared with 40,000 in 2013. We expect to receive more tourists this year following marketing campaigns,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr Zutshi said India had signed a tourism memorandum of understanding with BRICS member countries including China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

In efforts to attract more tourists from China, he added that the Indian government relaxed visa conditions for the Chinese as well as rolling out road shows in Chinese cities.

“We will soon embark on the second advertising campaign in leading television channels CNN and BBC to promote our destination across the world,” he said.

Mr Zutshi said India was capitalising on its diverse tourism products such as culture, heritage, wildlife and natural beauty to woo more international tourists.

He noted that the 5th International Tourism Mart was held in Manipur State with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential in North East India region.

The fair showcased tourism products from the states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.

Over 50 tour operators, travel agents and writers from 35 countries including Germany, Italy, Australia, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Cambodia, Myanmar and Bangladesh, attended the tourism event.

On its part, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) in September launched a six-month tourism promotion in India aimed at increasing tourist arrivals by 21 per cent.

The marketing agency set aside Sh20 million for the promotions in Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

A media campaign dubbed Kenya Kalling was to run in print, radio and online media platforms in the three Indian cities.

Travel agents were expected to give Indian tourists affordable packages and other incentives in the six-month campaign to woo more Indian holidaymakers.

Currently, India is ranked the third best performing market for Kenya after the US and UK.

According to figures from KTB, tourist arrivals from India between January and July this year increased to 37,597 compared with 27,944 in the same period last year.

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