NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29- Kenya’s High Commissioner to United Kingdom Manoah Esipisu has urged Kenya Diaspora in United Kingdom to strengthen the country’s connections in order to create investment opportunities under the tourism sector.
He was speaking over the weekend during Diaspora forum jointly organized by Kenya Tourism Board and Kenya’s High Commission in the UK to rally the Kenyans living in London and environs behind tourism promotion and marketing.
This is because Kenyan Diaspora in the United Kingdom are considered to have the potential to contribute to the development of tourism and investment openings in their motherland.
Esipisu said it was a collective responsibility for all Kenyans to ensure growth in the tourism sector which contributes greatly to the country’s economy.
“It is our links and networks that we need to strengthen so that we all position our motherland in a positive light as regards tourism and other economic ventures,” he said.
“You are brand ambassadors of your country and we count on all of you to work towards this noble gesture of positively contributing to our motherland,” he added.
Kenya Tourism Board Chief Executive officer Betty Radier in a statement disclosed that Kenyans living abroad have become a critical avenue for reaching out to potential travelers through word of mouth.
“In our engagements with Kenyans in the diaspora, we will have the opportunity to share travel behavior insights with them and at the same time get their views on proper, viable and effective ways of joint promotion marketing”, said Radier.
Participants in the forum hailed the initiative, the first forum to be held, as one of the strategies of enhancing awareness of Kenya’s economic potential not only in tourism but in other sectors of the economy.
“We are ready to work with you and support all initiatives the Kenyan government is sharing with us that would ultimately contribute to the economic well-being of our nation”, says Kenya Diaspora Association United Kingdom chapter chairman Mordicks Asimba.
The UK market is one of the key traditional source markets into the country in the second position after the United States.
Last year, the United Kingdom posted 184,002 arrivals, contributing about 10% of the market share.
With this, the overall tourism sector was seen to record an increase in tourism earnings from Sh119.9 billion in 2017 to Sh157.4 billion in 2018.
This is an improved performance in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the 2019 economic survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
The improved performance has been attributed to a stable political environment, withdrawal of travel advisories improved security and investor confidence in the country.
In order to further boost the sector’s performance, Kenya participated in a four-day exhibition at Excell Centre in London at the sidelined of preparation for this year’s London Olympics to promote tourism.
Radier said the exhibition was to leverage the marathon which Kenya is known for and showcase other tourism products adding that several promotional campaigns have been lined up in the market to woo travelers into Kenya.