SPORTS TOURISM TO TAKE HIGHER PRIORITY AS KTB TURNS DOMESTIC TOURISM FOCUS TO SPORTS
(Posted 04th May 2018)
The Kenya Tourism Board has partnered with cycling events organiser, Ngong Hills Individual Time Trial (NHITT) to promote domestic travel by undertaking three mountain bike races countrywide beginning this weekend.
The first bike race dubbed “Arabuko Sokoke Forest Challenge with Tembea Kenya” is set for this weekend in Kilifi county. It has attracted the participation of hundreds of local and international cyclists.
The 64 kilometres bike race will take place in the largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa. Arabuko Sokoke forest has 20% of Kenya’s bird species, 30% of butterfly species and at least 24 rare and endemic bird, mammal and butterfly species. The race is also part of the campaigns geared towards conservation.
KTB Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier has said that the sporting event provides a new and exciting experience especially for the young and middle-aged segment of the population which is increasingly seeking out an active lifestyle, both for leisure as well as for fitness and networking.
“Kenya is a perfect destination for biking safaris due to the favourable weather throughout the year. The outlying touristic attractions along the competition routes attract the spectator audience which follows the riders” said the CEO.
Dr. Radier has further said that adventure tourism is fast growing with millennials developing more interest in authentic experiences through travel.
“Our aim is to showcase the attractions in the selected regions and push the adventure segment of travel that is increasingly attracting interest among the millennials”, she concluded.
Other biking challenges have been lined up for the months of June and July in Machakos and the Great Rift Valley.
Speaking while thanking KTB for its support, NHITT CEO, Alex Tibwitta has said that the planned cycling events will provide an opportunity to showcase Kenya’s diversity as a destination while promoting cycling as a means of keeping fit.
The partnership comes a week after KTB concluded a month-long series of training workshops across the country targeted at domestic travel agents across the country. The training sessions sought to equip them with first-hand experiences of what Kenya has to offer to the domestic segment.
According to the KTB CEO, KTB will continue to explore partnerships and collaboration with industry players in order to reap maximum benefit from the domestic segment.
The CEO further noted that the domestic tourism segment has continued to cushion the sector during low seasons and that its performance is on the increase.
In 2017, domestic tourism recorded a total of 4.05 million bed nights being taken up by Kenyans compared to 3.5 million in 2016, denoting a 15.9% growth.