NAIROBI, Feb. 8 — Kenya’s tourism marketing body said Monday it plans to leverage the global appeal of motorsport to boost the local tourism sector.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) managing director Betty Radier said the motorsport events such as the East Africa Classic Rally to be held on Feb. 10-19 are important because they enhance a destination’s attractiveness and competitiveness.
“Due to the kilometers and routes covered in the destination, motorsport puts a focus on attractions and enables visitors and prospective travelers to get a glimpse of the destinations’ offerings,” Radier said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
The rally is set to cover 5,000 km across 11 counties and more than 360 towns in Kenya, putting a focus on attractions within these regions.
Radier said the rally rekindles the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put Kenya and East Africa on the global motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s toughest rally. KTB will be activating and leveraging the global coverage during the event to showcase Kenya’s preparedness and enhance awareness of the destination among travelers whose travel plans have been hampered by travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Motorsport in Kenya began in the early 1950s with the inception of the East African Coronation Rally in 1953 as a motoring event to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who had been on a safari holiday at the Aberdare National Park in Nyeri.
Kenya welcomed back the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2021 after a 19-year hiatus. The event presented the destination with an opportunity to leverage its global coverage to showcase Kenya’s preparedness. The event was televised to more than 850 million viewers in its 14 rounds with a total of 13,452 broadcast hours projected.
The February rally will have a participation of about 50 crews made up of Kenyans along with international participants from Europe, Asia, and America, offering an opportunity to profile Kenya in these source markets. – XINHUA