Tourists are increasingly looking for experiential travel when they consider a destination, and Kenya’s tourism ministry has urged Kenyan hotel owners to market their products with this in mind.

Tourism stakeholders needed to stop selling outdated products and services, said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, and start marketing to a more modern traveller. He said hotel owners could not continue to use the same excursions, itineraries and programmes they had been using for the past 20 years, but must ensure that the quality of products and services provided by the hotel owners corresponded with an appropriate branding strategy that would be able to attract and retain tourists.

Balala further urged hotel owners to offer tourists new categories of accommodation, and emphasised the need to improve the products in terms of experience. “There are different models of accommodation such as bed only, bed and breakfast and full board. That is why we need to improve the products in terms of accommodation and experience. People will book accommodation in one place but experience food and other products elsewhere.”

He added that some of the old hotels needed to be upgraded with state-of-the-art facilities, embrace digital marketing strategies that would see active use of their websites, use social media platforms to reach tourists abroad, and establish platforms as a means of providing information to potential travellers.