Kenyan counties showcase tourism products in Berlin trade fair

Friday March 11 2016

Kwale County Tourism Executive officer Adan Sheikh (centre) and tourism director Paul Musila brief a tour operator from Germany at their county's stand at the international tourism fair in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO | MATHIAS RINGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kwale County Tourism Executive officer Adan Sheikh (centre) and tourism director Paul Musila brief a tour operator from Germany at their county's stand at the international tourism fair in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO | MATHIAS RINGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MATHIAS RINGA
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BERLIN, GERMANY

Nairobi and Mombasa are among four county governments showcasing tourism products at the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin, Germany, to attract more international tourists to the country.‎

Other counties participating in the Berlin travel trade fair are Kwale and Uasin Gishu.

According to Nairobi tourism officials Sally Ragga and Nassir Massai, the county is participating in the Berlin travel show for the first time with the aim of positioning Nairobi as the destination of choice for international tourists from across the world.

Under the brand slogan: “Live, Love Nairobi — discover, create, grow”, the Nairobi tourism delegation is marketing the county to help woo more German tourists and other holidaymakers from across the globe to Kenya’s capital city.

Among the products being showcased at the ITB Berlin include the Nairobi National Park, Nairobi National Museum, Railways Museum, the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi Snake Park and the Giraffe Centre.

Other products include Utamaduni Craft and Curio shop, Matbronze Wildlife Art Gallery, Fair View Estate coffee tours, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi Animal Orphanage, Karen Blixen and the UN Village.

SHOWCASING KICC
The county is also showcasing the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) to help attract more international conferences to Nairobi.

“We are here in Berlin to market our capital city as the best destination for cultural heritage, wildlife, nightlife and conferencing,” Ms Ragga said.

“We have brought T-shirts, mugs, pens among other items which have our brand slogan which we are giving for free to trade visitors for them to market Nairobi around the world.”

Ms Ragga said they are capitalising on big conferences that were held in Nairobi last year such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to attract more international conventions for Nairobi to be among the leading conference hubs in Africa.

On the other hand, Mr Massai said the county was taking advantage of US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis’ visits to Nairobi last year in a bid to attract more American tourists and European holidaymakers.

On Friday, the Nairobi officials said trade visitors from Germany, Poland, Netherlands and Czech Republic visited their stand aiming to bring tourists to Nairobi.

“We have some families from Poland who have shown interest of coming to Nairobi in July for holidays,” Ms Ragga said.

“The Polish families said it will be their first visit to Africa and are looking forward to enjoying their stay in Nairobi.”

The counties showcased their products at the Kenyan exhibition stand alongside local hotels, tour operators and travel agents.
CRUISE TOURISM

On the Mombasa County stand, the county’s tourism executive, Binti Omar, said they were in Berlin to showcase Mombasa as a beach holiday destination, historical and cultural heritage and as a cruise tourism destination.

She said they are marketing the alluring beaches, the iconic historical building Fort Jesus, the popular Mama Ngina Drive where visitors to Mombasa can catch a glimpse of ships either heading to or from the Port of Mombasa.

“Mombasa is Kenya’s leading tourism hub and so we are participating in the Berlin trade fair to attract more holidaymakers from the German market,” she said.

The county executive added that they are taking advantage of the fair to market the Swahili cultural heritage, foods as well as the Mombasa International Cultural Festival.

“This year, we shall hold our cultural festival in August and we are selling the festival here in Germany in a bid to woo more international visitors,” she said.

Ms Omar said they are banking on the Berlin travel show to win back the confidence of international markets to boost international tourist arrivals in Mombasa.

Other attractions from Mombasa being showcased in Berlin include the Nguuni Animal Sanctuary at Bamburi, water sports, the Mombasa Marathon to be held in September, swimming gala, beach run, beach volleyball and football.

The Mombasa county team is also giving free videos with the slogan: “Mombasa Island of history, mystery and national splendour.”

“We want to woo many international visitors to help revive tourism in Mombasa for job creation and economic growth,” Ms Omar added.

DIANI BEACH

Kwale County’s tourism executive Adan Sheikh said they are participating in the ITB Berlin fair to market the world famous Diani Beach, wildlife at Shimba Hills Game Reserve, the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and culture.

He explained that Germany is Diani’s leading source market since German tourists prefer to come and enjoy relaxation on the beautiful Diani Beach.

“We want to enlighten German tour operators and travel agents about Diani Beach which has won global awards for them to bring more holidaymakers to the South Coast for the sector to recover,” he said.

The Kwale executive said his team would hold talks with leading German tour operators such as TUI, Neckermann, Rewe Touristik, FTI and Jahn Reisen for them to book holidays for tourists to come to Diani.

Apart from Germany, he said, the county is also targeting holidaymakers from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Poland and Italy.