NAIROBI, Feb. 15 — Kenya is targeting affluent Chinese visitors to boost the country’s tourism sector, an official said on Friday.
Betty Radier, CEO of Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), told Xinhua in Nairobi that currently most Chinese tourists are from the middle-income segment.
“We are currently developing a strategy to lure more affluent Chinese in order to diversify Kenya’s tourism revenue streams,” Radier said at the launch of an initiative to help the country’s 47 counties identify and market their unique tourism sites to both local and foreign tourists.
According to the ministry of tourism and wildlife, the east African nation received 2.02 million tourists in 2018, out of which 81,709 were from China.
Radier said Kenya wants to see the number of Chinese tourists rise between 15 percent and 20 percent a year.
To attract more high-earning Chinese tourists, she said, Kenya will need to build more boutique hotels that can cater for the wealthy.
The KTB noted that on average affluent Chinese spend between 50,000 shillings (about 500 U.S. dollars) and 100,000 shillings (1,000 dollars) a day in their overseas visits.
Radier said Kenya also wants to diversify its tourism products away from the beach and safaris products.
According to Radier, cultural tourism is largely untapped as the only culture that has been marketed abroad is the Masaai tribe.
The private sector has identified over 40 new cultural heritage sites that can become tourism magnets for Kenya, she said.