Kenya boosts tourism marketing by $13 million


NAIROBI – Kenya will spend an extra billion shillings this year on marketing to try to attract new visitors, its tourism minister said on Monday.

The numbers of holidaymakers coming to east Africa’s biggest economy are slowly recovering after plummeting at the start of the year when a disputed presidential election unleashed a wave of political and ethnic violence.

The government expects full-year earnings to fall 23 percent from last year’s level to around $665.3 million.

“We have one billion shillings. We have got a nod from the president,” said Tourism Minister Najib Balala. He did say what proportion of the total marketing budget that represented.

“We want to do is consumer marketing and opening new markets that have not been affected by the global economic crunch.”

He said half the money would be allocated to efforts in the United States, Russia, the Middle East and China. The rest would go to traditional markets like Britain and Germany, but also to new European target countries including France and Spain.

Balala said the turmoil in the markets of developed nations had forced them to look at their prices carefully.

“We are depending on these countries,” he told reporters.

“They will have less money to spend, so we have to be cost-conscious, rather than overpricing ourselves.”