The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has recognised private-sector partners for the critical role they have played in promoting tourism and assisting in minimising direct expenditures by supporting government-led tourism initiatives.
The tourism board held its inaugural Magical Kenya Loyalty Rewards on the sidelines of the combined East African Regional Tourism Expo and Magical Kenya Travel Expo on Tuesday, November 21, recognising 44 tourism, hospitality and aviation partners who have supported and participated in KTB-led initiatives, including travel exhibitions and expos, trade workshops and trade and media familiarisation trips.
“KTB is ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure that we show value to potential travellers. Our goal is to reach 5.5 million tourists in the next five years, and everyone has a role to play in this,” said KTB Chairperson, Francis Gichaba.
“This is why we have initiatives such the Magical Kenya Loyalty Rewards Programme, vital in appreciating the role that tourism stakeholders and our partners play in in growing tourism business whilst laying the foundation for further growth of our tourism product. Some of the partners have been critical in providing us discounts in travel and accommodation, which has played an important role in our marketing efforts,” he added.
The new loyalty scheme is based on a tier system that places partners in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories.
National carrier Kenya Airways emerged as the top partner, achieving platinum status.
Kenya Airways General Manager for Africa Rose Kiseli said the joint partnerships with KTB had boosted the number of arrivals from key source markets.
“The joint roadshows we have had, especially in Europe, East Africa and West Africa, have availed us of an opportunity to grow numbers and intra-Africa connectivity,” said Kiseli.
She pointed out that the national carrier currently recorded 30 flights weekly from Europe, ahead of the end-of-year holiday season.
‘’We also have a high demand for domestic travel and we are ready together with our subsidiary airline Jambojet to offer adequate capacity for our domestic connections.”
KTB CEO John Chirchir said Kenya’s marketing partnerships had enabled brands to more directly reach travellers and tailor messages to their preferences.
“International travellers are now more aware of the experiences they desire: they are able to research and piece together a map of their own desirable destinations that can be self-fulfilled.
“Through partnerships we are able to design experiences to reach travellers with the right information and hence create interest,” Chirchir said, pointing to the country’s Magical Kenya Signature Experiences programme as a prime example of such a collaboration.