Cashing on US Direct Flight,Kenya Government Review Charter Carriers

Kenya government to review charter incentives program to incorporate low cost carriers and scheduled flights in order to boost tourist numbers into the country.

Currently the charter model only works in eastern Europe and Nordic countries, leaving out other key tourist source markets for Kenya.

“This move would not only strengthen our destination’s brand visibility as a whole in the source markets but increase visitor number. It will allow us to venture into joint marketing initiatives with the airline operator and the travel agents’ consortia,” says Tourism PS Mr. Joe Okudo.

The PS made the statement in a speech read on his behalf by KTB Regional Marketing Manager Jonathan Mbiyu during the reception of LOT Polish charter from Poland, carrying 252 visitors.

The charter will fly Mombasa twice a week, translating to about 500 visitors to the Kenyan coast every week.

“Within the charter period (November to March, 2019), Kenya shall have received about 8,000 arrivals into Mombasa, a major boost to the tourist numbers into the region”, says the PS.

Poland has continued to grow in market share of visitors into the country. Last year, we received 11,947 visitors from Poland up from 9,572 recorded in 2016, a 24.8% increase.

For the last eight months (January-August), arrivals from the market was at 7,504 up from 6,782 visitors in the same period last year, translating to an increase of 10.6%.

The PS said, air connectivity was a key component in boosting arrivals into the country owing to ease of access and pointed out that the government will venture into joint promotion with travel agents to increase demand for travel.

Since the launch of charter incentives program in 2016 with Shs 1.2 billion package by the government, Kenya has recorded a growth of tourism numbers into the coastal region.

The number of charters has risen from one charter (Condor Airlines) to the current number of 10, a major boost to tourism business in the region that had recorded a drop as a result of negative travel advisories.

The number of charters are expected to increase towards the end of the year with the PS expressing optimism that the revised program would see to an expansion to cover the other two international airports in the county for diverse tourism product experience.

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