KENYA TOURISM BOARD TURNS 10
(Date Published: 13 July 2007)
The 10th Anniversary since the establishment of the Kenya Tourism Board was marked on Thursday 12, 2007 in a colourful ceremony led by Tourism Minister Hon. Morris Dzoro.
About 1,000 people drawn mainly from the tourism industry, the government and the media converged at the courtyard of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre for the event. Fireworks lit the city sky while Kenyan music and dance dominated the six hours of festivities.
Cultural ambassadors from the Turkana, the Mijikenda and the Meru communities graced the occasions in their colourful traditional regalia to promote cultural tourism as an alternative tourism product. Individuals and organizations that have contributed in one way or the other to tourism development were feted including former Ministers in charge of tourism, Permanent Secretaries, chief executives of the KTB, tour and travel trade agencies and the Media among others.
Speaking during the event Minister Morris Dzoro said KTB was created in 1997 to help turn around the fate of tourism industry which had stagnated owing lack a clear focus in marketing and promotion.
In the past 10 years tourism has recovered from negative growth to the current 13% growth per annum and is now the leading foreign exchange earner. This has been achieved mainly through increased Government support to the industry, good governance that has enabled tourism business to thrive, aggressive marketing and diversification of tourism products.
Substantial exchequer resources have been set aside for rehabilitation of tourism infrastructure and marketing. The revival of the KICC has contributed to the growth in conference tourism. Currently, the country is grappling with the challenge of keeping pace with this unprecedented growth by encouraging investors to develop tourism infrastructure especially accommodation facilities.
Domestic tourism has also picked up with the culture of local travels and holidays getting deeply entrenched and is now taking up 40% of bed space. The Ministry is encouraging and educating Kenyans on the value of domestic tourism so that this sub sector does not just pick up but provides a counterbalance to international tourism. In Kenya’s blueprint Vision 2030, tourism has been recognized as one of the six key economic sectors to drive the economy towards making the country to a middle income state.