Having braved the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s hospitality industry has been forced to adapt to survive. Part of the adaptation process includes the promotion of local tourism and reduced dependency on foreign tourists.
Kitui county, at the heart of Ukambani, has made a giant leap forward in this regard by unveiling Kenya’s premier dryland beach.
Kitui’s man-made beach located in Kalundu Eco Park in Kitui Town is the first of its kind in the country.
Sights of the man-made beach.
The property lies on a 30.9-acre recreational development that includes a 9-acre dam developed to harness Kitui’s tourism potential.
On completion, the recreational development will include, a floating restaurant, kayaking, jet skiing among other amenities.
A section of the recreational park
Kenya largely counts on its pristine beaches and wildlife to attract tourists. As time unfolds, however, different forms of tourism have come to the fore such as conference tourism and sports tourism.
A detailed recovery outline titled Tourism opportunities in the ‘new normal environment’ suggests multiple approaches that can be taken by tourism industry players to adapt to the market. This includes the introduction of new man-made attractions. Such features ensure Kenya remains competitive in tourist attraction as we share similar attractions with our regional competitors.
The outline published on the Kenya Tourism Board website, Tourism operators are being urged to engage in the identification and promotion of community-based tourism packages.
Cultural tourism has been a certified tourism attraction and helps market the country abroad with attires such as the Maasai Shuka.
To attract fresh clientele, tour operators should invest in digital communication methods. Besides being faster, convenient, and wide-reaching to an audience with spending capacity, digital communication is sustainable and can always be updated to match the target demographic.
At the county level, counties in conjunction with relevant stakeholders can repackage tourism products with local market interests. Developing circuits that cater to the convenience and entertainment of local tourists is key for a prosperous 2021.
In 2021, tour operators and hospitality businesses should also embrace the use of technology as a presentation tool to attract new customers to this side of Africa. Virtual reality allows people to experience business products in a new light, and tour operators should cash in on this for both local and foreign markets.
A common regional outlook to tourism is needed in East Africa. Rather than endlessly competing with each other, countries can come together to create joint packages that have more pull to customers and benefit from mutual cooperation.