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Tuesday, 01 September 2009 21:46

Kenya: Tourism Campaign Set For Moscow

By Lucas Barasa

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 29 (Daily Nation) —Kenya has launched a tourism marketing campaign in Eastern Europe with the first stop being Moscow where $200,000 (Kshs 16 million) has been provided for the initial launch of the Russian tourism source market.

Tourism minister Najib Balala who is leading a marketing delegation in the key eastern European tourist source markets of Russia, Czech Republic and Poland said the initial investment will focus on consumer advertising and placement of 36 billboards at strategic points in the city of Moscow.

This initiative is part of the Kenya Tourist Board Tourist Source Market Diversification Programme which started in June of 2009 to run August 2009.

Addressing journalist from the major media houses in Moscow, Balala announced the opening of a Marketing Development Representative office in Moscow represented by a reputable international firm, 'Aviareps Russia'. The firm was appointed two months ago and has already started work.

"The motive of reaching out to Russia and Eastern Europe is to increase the number of arrivals from this important market" said the Minister. "In doing so Kenya will have diversified her tourists markets and avoided over-reliance on the traditional markets of Western Europe and North America.

Last year, Kenya received a  modest 3,000 tourists from Russian but this number is a remarkable given the minimal tourism promotion investments that Kenya has devoted to the country. Owing to its expansive population of 142 million people with a very high per capita income of $14, 700 the Russian federation has a high potential as a tourist source market.

As part of the current marketing initiative, the Kenya Tourist Board will organize a familiarization trip for Russian travel writers, travel trade and investors to Kenya in July to experience the destination. Thereafter they will be in a better position to help market Kenya in the Russian market.

Even though there are no direct air connections between Nairobi and Moscow, the Minister it is possible that by the end of 2009, there will be a direct air connection either through charter, or by a scheduled airline following the launch of the Kenya destination in Russia.




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