Delta To Promote Kenya In US
Balala reaches deal with Delta Airlines
Tourism Minister Najib Balala and the management of USA Delta Airlines, have reached a partnership to promote Kenya tourism in America ahead of the inaugural flight slated for June this year.
Among the joint marketing proposals discussed was the promotion of destination Kenya through the airline's wide customer relations tools that includes in-flight newsletter and onboard video programmes.
According to the Senior Marketing and Communication Manager of the airline Ms. Jeanne Wilson who met with the Minister at the airline's headquarters in Atlanta on Saturday, Delta has the largest frequent flier database in the world that could be reached through its well-established marketing channels.
The Airline also has its own tour operations subsidiary, "Delta Vacations" which operates from New York that would provide a perfect partnership for a joint mass advertising campaign targeting the wider American society.
Delta airline is set to launch its maiden flight on 2nd June 2009 using a Boeing 757-300ER with a 221 seats capacity that will be flying from Atlanta to Nairobi and shipping over 800 travellers per week.
American travelers to Kenya will now fly to Nairobi without the hassle of going through the European capitals where it takes over 30 hours and has remained a major deterrent for tourism from the US.
With the direct flight from, this will be reduced to only 12 hours.
The Minister observed that this will be a big boost to the tourism sector in Kenya which is yet to attain full recovery from the effect of last years post election crisis.
"The direct air connection between the US and Nairobi and the election of President Barrack Obama is the best opportunity we have ever had to reach the huge potential of the American tourism market", said the Minister.
He said the Kenya Tourist Board will work with the Delta team to fast track the development and rolling out of a promotional package to bring in more American tourists to Kenya which will be presented to him within the next one week.
Part of the promotional package is the possibility of supporting travel writers, travel agents as well as travel by celebrities who could help in profiling Kenya as a premier tourist destination.
Earlier in the week, the Minister discussed with the president of Legacy Entertainment in Hollywood, Los Angeles Mr. Steven Moore plans to organize trips for US celebrities to come to Kenya for photo shoots.
Further Director of External Affairs and Community Relations, Ms. Scarlet Pressley-Brown said she will organize the travel of Ron Clark Academy students to Nairobi aboard the inaugural flight.
These are students who made performances during the Obama campaign and will provide mileage in promotion of the Delta Airlines flight as well as Kenya as a destination.
The Minister also met with the Kenya Diaspora in Atlanta, who welcomed the move by the Delta Airlines to introduce a direct flight to Nairobi as this will reduce the cost and time of travel to home.
The Diaspora asked the Minister to provide some of the areas in the tourism sector in which they can invest.
The United States is now the second largest source market for tourist arrivals into Kenya registering 100,516 arrivals in 2007 after UK which recorded 203,494 visitors.