NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Thursday challenged tourism stakeholders at the coast to rebrand and market the beach destination.
Kenya has five beach zones namely; Mombasa, Watamu, Malindi, Lamu and Diani.
Balala said these regions need top-notch rebranding and marketing strategies.
He challenged the county government of Mombasa, Lamu, Kwale and Kilifi, which are home of these beach destinations to address the challenge of beach boys, who harass tourists.
He said the challenge has been in place for over 40 years.
Addressing the delegates attending the Coast Tourism Stakeholders Summit at Neptune Hotel at the South Coast through a recorded video, Balala said Kenya’s coast beach destination is not competitive.
“It is time for us to start destination marketing. We have seen other countries doing it well, Morocco markets Marrakesh, South Africa markets Cape Town, Mexico markets Cancún and even our neighbours Tanzania market Zanzibar,” said Balala.
“Our plan is to define the coast and market the beach destination as a distinct product. To enable us, not only increase the numbers, but improve on the clients’ experiences,” said Balala.
Balala was in Nairobi for a cabinet meeting. However, he is expected in the afternoon to officially open the summit, which is the first ever in the region.
Ministry of Tourism has developed a Kenya Tourisms Blueprint 2030 which is anchored on four key pillars; Product Development Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Investment Strategy and Tourism Infrastructure Strategy.
A Coast Tourism Working Group has been established to develop a strategy on beach destination to go hand in hand with the Kenya Tourisms Blueprint 2030